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Ross County welcome new crop of academy graduates as four players sign full time apprenticeships in Dingwall

By Andrew Henderson

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Four academy graduates have signed their first full time contracts with Ross County.

Andrew Macleod, Dylan Smith, Connall Ewan and George Robesten have all joined the club on two-year apprenticeships that will see them train full-time during the next stage of their development.

Ross County new batch of apprentices: (L-R): Andrew MacLeod, Dylan Smith, Connell Ewan, and George Robeston. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Ross County new batch of apprentices: (L-R): Andrew MacLeod, Dylan Smith, Connell Ewan, and George Robeston. Picture: Ken Macpherson

Central midfielder Macleod follows in the footsteps of Matthew Wright and Adam MacKinnon in moving to Dingwall from the Western Isles, having first joined the County set-up at under-14 level.

Robesten also comes from the islands, but he has become the first Staggies academy graduate from Shetland.

Smith and Ewan are a defensive pair from Inverness, with the former impressing at under-18 level over the last year-and-a-half while the latter has been in County’s system for four years.

Manager Malky Mackay has said: “After a couple of challenging years for academy players during Covid, it is fantastic for us to be able to offer these opportunities to our young players who have exemplified real ability with a terrific attitude.

"We have had the four boys with us since day one of pre-season and their focus and work ethic is of great credit to their families.

“Its important for a club like Ross County that we have a conveyor belt of young talent from the Highlands and Islands, as it follows the strong tradition of this football club in developing local talent into exciting young footballers.

"It is also important to recognise all of the coaches and volunteers who have given their time in developing Andrew, Dylan, Connall and George over the last few years and the importance of their role in each players development.”

Gordon Duff, academy manager, added: “It is fantastic for all four of the boys who have worked extremely hard in their time with our academy.

"They are hungry and want to keep pushing themselves and this is a great platform for each of them to do so.

"These four boys follow in the footsteps of Ross Munro, Josh Reid, Matthew Wright, Adam MacKinnon and Ryan MacLeman who have all come through our academy in recent years.

"Personally, I would like to thank their families along with the coaches and volunteers that have worked with the boys to help their development.”

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