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CHARLIE CHRISTIE: Caley Thistle Academy conveyor belt is bringing through talent

By Charlie Christie

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After the disappointment of last Saturday’s home defeat to Queens Park it was nice to start the new week on a positive note when the club signed three young players from our youth academy.

Charlie Christie and manager Billy Dodds the players are L to R – Calum Macleod, Sam Nixon and Jack Walker.
Charlie Christie and manager Billy Dodds the players are L to R – Calum Macleod, Sam Nixon and Jack Walker.

It continues our long-term goal of giving local players the chance to progress and hopefully realise their dream of becoming a professional player.

Sam Nixon, Jack Walker, and Calum MacLeod have all been with Inverness Caledonian Thistle from nine years of age and it really is a boost to the academy when we see these lads develop over time into young men who deserve their chance, and the academy coaches have high hopes for all three.

As manager Billy Dodds explained to our latest modern apprentices the hard work starts now.

Billy also mentioned young Keith Bray who was one of the few shining lights in our opening day loss.

Keith, an academy team-mate of all three lads, joined the club on an apprenticeship at the start of last season.

After taking a period to find his feet, has really kicked on and the young islander brought a spark to the game last week that was badly lacking.

There really is something special in seeing a home-grown young player make his debut.

We have had relatively good success in recent times at the club in developing our own.

It will be a real challenge to each individual and there will be highs and lows along the way.

But with the correct attitude, willingness to learn and a strong mentality, there’s no reason why they can’t make their mark at the club.

Next up in the Scottish Championship ICT make the long trip to the west coast of Scotland to face Lee Bullen’s Ayr United side.

They also suffered opening day defeat at Morton having been one up at half time and Lee will be looking for a reaction from his players tomorrow.

The departure of top scorer Afolabi Akinyemi to York City during the summer is a significant loss to them.

But they progressed through their League Cup group unbeaten including an excellent win away to St Johnstone so cannot be underestimated.

Billy Dodds will also be looking for a reaction from his players and will be hoping they eradicate the defensive errors that proved so costly last week.

Somerset Park was a happy hunting ground for us last season with two narrow, hard-earned victories.

Billy and his coaching staff would certainly settle for a similar outcome on Saturday to get our league campaign up and running.

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