Oldham’s new intake of young players a few weeks ago included 17-year-old goalkeeper Mackenzie Chapman.
The news that Athletic had taken on 10 schoolboys for two-year scholarships is welcome. Not just because it demonstrates that the club is serious about building a squad from the youth setup, but because it quelled a myth that owner Abdallah Lemsagam was planning to get rid of the club’s Academy.
On the contrary, Lemsagam intends to “Develop the academy and the pipeline of talent.” as he mentioned in his ‘Vision and Plan‘. That is good news for young players like Mackenzie Chapman who has been on the books at both Manchester United and Burnley. He is described as a good shot stopper in his player profile on the club’s website and, that is definitely a plus for a goalkeeper!
Having a ‘keeper who two Premier League sides thought was worth a look at, bodes well for Latics and all eyes will be on who gets the No. 1 jersey next season after the departure of Daniel Iversen. I don’t expect Mackenzie to be thrust into the first-team action straight away, but as he has already played for the youth team on a number of occasions, he may well enter into first-team reckoning before long.
Mackenzie is too young to remember Chris Ogden who was an integral part of the Oldham side in the early 1970s. Ogden rose from the junior ranks to become Latics first choice in goal and managed 128 appearances.
Another find like Chris would be a great addition to an Oldham side who are keen to develop their young talent.