Leeds United’s Northern Irish experimenter Jack Patterson “a dream to work with”
Patterson has spent time this week on trial at Leeds United – with the Premier League club, the last professional team linked to the 15-year-old following reported interest from Rangers, Everton and West Ham United.
The Northern Ireland junior international made club history at Crusaders in January with a competitive appearance at age 15 at 78 days old.
A product of the famous Greenisland production line and the current perspective of the Irish FA JD Academy, Patterson’s development has been celebrated as a showcase for the positives of the national foundation.
“I have worked with Jack for a few years at different levels and cannot speak enough of him as a player and a person,” said Andy Waterworth, director of the Irish FA JD Academy based in Jordanstown, which is the only full school. from Northern Ireland. -time residential program for young elite players. “An opportunity like this is the reward for a successful collaboration around player development between Greenisland, Crusaders and the Academy program.
“Everyone works together for the good of the player.
“A big part of our approach at the Academy is to prepare the individual for a future in the game and when opportunities such as water trials present themselves we have complete confidence that Jack will embrace the situation of the game. good manner.
“We know Jack can go somewhere like Leeds and represent Northern Ireland football in the right way on and off the pitch.
“We see the Academy as a ‘mini-jump’ for the players as they spend five days a week in Jordanstown sleeping, training and working on everything, besides, of course, education.
“No stone is overlooked and spending time in such an environment full time allows players, if they get the offer of an away try, to focus on the football rather than having to adjusting to maybe being away from home for the first time or feeling out of your comfort zone.
“It’s about providing a support network on a player’s journey and we’re all thrilled that Jack is receiving this recognition for his hard work and, more importantly, having complete confidence that he can tackle anything. with the right preparation thanks to his experiences with Greenisland, Crusaders and the Academy.
Waterworth considers Patterson “a dream to work with” and noted his “brilliant appetite for the game”.
“Jack is a great boy, with real enthusiasm and someone we actually use as a role model for our young Academy players,” Waterworth continued. “He has such a wise head on young shoulders and is always ready to take criticism.
“We are working hard to define his role and it will be interesting to see his development as a defensive midfielder or number eight.
“He’s so humble and dedicated, he always asks questions and puts himself forward to be involved in situations.
“We are proud of the progress of someone like Jack taking this next step, knowing that the foundations and preparations put in place are helping him face the opportunities that present themselves now.”
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