Storks boss Steve Wilkes has lavished praise on the club’s talented goalkeeper Marcus Burgess following the teenager’s selection for England Colleges.
The 17-year-old, part of Premier League outfit Everton’s academy, has earned the number one jersey for the Under 19s clash against Australia today with kick-off scheduled for 2 p.m. at Sutton Coldfield.
While Padiham’s game with Burscough at the Arbories was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch on Saturday, the Burnley College student, sponsored by former Manchester United winger Lee Sharpe for the season, was representing Lancashire at county level. Wilkes, who introduced Burgess to Padiham’s starting XI once Sean Davis was hit by suspension and injury, believes the youngster can now go on to achieve success in the game.
“It’s one of the proudest days in Padiham Football Club’s history,” said Wilkes. “The kid has really deserved it. He was pipped by a goalkeeper from Manchester United for England Under 18s so it’s nice for him to get his moment.
“He trains with Everton twice a week, he was given man of the match for Lancashire at the weekend, and he never let me down when stepping in for Sean Davis earlier in the season. To come in at this level and perform the way he did shows he’s got talent. He will go on to do very well.
“He’s a great lad to have around the club. He’s polite, has a good family around him and he doesn’t get too big for his boots. He loves his football, works hard, and that’s given him a chance to achieve something in the game. If we can help him in any way shape or form then we’ll do that. I’m very pleased for him.”
Meanwhile, the Storks were denied the opportunity to get back to winning ways when heavy rainfall wreaked havoc at the Arbories.
Padiham, without a win in 2014, had been hoping to plug the aperture on Burscough, but the pitch was deemed unplayable.
“It’s frustrating because you train all week and set things in place to face Burscough but then the game doesn’t happen,” said Wilkes.
“We’d worked hard in training because we need to get back to winning ways. We’ve struggled for results recently and that was a chance to put it right.
“We’re disappointed but we just have to look ahead to Bamber Bridge now.”