Sky is the limit for Harvey after signing first professional contract with Fleetwood Town
Former Blessed Trinity pupil Harvey Macadam has joined League 1 Fleetwood Town on a two-and-a-half-year professional contract, with an option for a further year.
After those initial knockbacks, his progress was further stalled by the global pandemic, but, now 20, his hard work looks to be paying off, and father Nick is a proud man: “Harvey has been so determined, we’ve had tears and whatnot when he’s been rejected, but his character...he deserves everything he gets basically.
“It’s been a different pathway, but it’s been a good one.”
He was snapped up by the Clarets without seeing him play: “He got spotted by Burnley when he was at Fulledge Colts – he was actually watching his older brother Ewan playing, and they saw him kicking a ball at the side of the pitch and asked him to go down!
“He was only eight or nine then.
“He had the thick end of a year there, but he was released and went back to Fulledge Colts, and within a month, Blackburn, Everton and Manchester City came in for him.
“We chose Blackburn because of the logistics.
“He played right back, right wing back for five or six years, because of his pace and he can put a great ball in.
“He got released at 16 by Blackburn, and had a couple of trials here, there and everywhere, and it’s the same old story, it was his size, he was about 5ft 9ins, and looked like a 14-year-old at 16, he was a late developer.
“But his ability was never in doubt, and he’s 6ft 4ins now!
“He’s gone through the roof!”
From Blackburn, Harvey again had setbacks, not of his making – with a contract at AFC Fylde falling through after the Coasters lost to Salford City in the National League play-off final in 2019.
Nick explained: “He had trials at Blackpool and Bury, who both liked him, but the size thing put the mockers on it.
“He ended up at AFC Fylde, and did a two-year scholarship there, and only didn’t get a professional contract because they lost the play-off final to reach the Football League. It was a financial thing, he sat there at home watching his contract disappear...
“He had been on loan at Nelson from Fylde to get some adult football, and ended up back there – Andy Harrison took a real shine to him and we owe him a debt of gratitude really.
“He could see the potential, and rang him up after not playing for a couple of months, just said to come down and play and just enjoy it.
“He did, played the second half of the season and got Players’ Player and Manager’s Player of the Season, and was second-highest goalscorer.
“Ashton looked at him and he moved there – Andy is good mates with Michael Clegg, and said he was too good to be in the North West Counties First Division.
“But then COVID happened, and put everyone’s plans on hold.
“He started again this season, and really taken the bull by the horns, playing centre midfield, and attracted a lot of attention.
“He has been training with the first team and Under 23s now at Fleetwood, and there seems to be a pathway there, there are a lot of young lads in the first team.
“He was so happy with what he saw at Fleetwood, he wanted to make that move happen.”
He may only be 20, but that small 16-year-old is now a big prospect: “His first spell at Nelson, on loan from Fylde, did him no end of good, it brought him on leaps and bounds, made him aware to use his body and strength to hold people off the ball.
“Academy football, there’s hardly a tackle anymore, so he learned a lot.
“He’s looking forward to getting going at Fleetwood, he knows he’s going to get clattered, because he can do a bit – he’s a good footballer, and has the brain to go with it.
“He has pace as well, power, the engine...there’s nothing to stop him really.
“Hopefully he can carry on the way he has been doing.”