Matthew earns his spot among the hottest prospects in local football

Matthew McCallen picks up his Player of the Month award from Michael O'Kane of the firmus energy Mid-Ulster Youth League and Mark Wilson, Manager of Banbridge Rangers U13s.
Matthew McCallen picks up his Player of the Month award from Michael O'Kane of the firmus energy Mid-Ulster Youth League and Mark Wilson, Manager of Banbridge Rangers U13s.

Banbridge Rangers U13 right back Matthew McCallen is one of the hottest prospects at the club.

The young right-back has been presented with his award as the U13 firmus energy Mid-Ulster Youth League Player of the Month for September.

Each of the ten U13 clubs in the firmus energy MUYL nominated a player for their exceptional performance and Rangers’ McCallen was selected as the overall winner.

Banbridge Rangers’ Mark Wilson said: “Matthew’s attitude and dedication has seen him become a regular in his team and he’s had some top-drawer performances early in the year.

“The firmus energy U13 Player of the Month award is well-deserved and we are all very proud of him.

“When the Club’s management team short-listed players for this award, the players then voted for who should be put forward and Matthew was chosen. Being selected by his peers shows just how well thought of he is right across the club.

“Matthew and the squad are in their first year of 11-a-side football and so far it’s been going well with the team playing excellent football and becoming tough opponents.

“They have achieved a lot in a short space of time, reaching the League Cup semi-final and only losing one match so far this season.

“All the Banbridge Rangers U13s players and management would also like to wish the other U13s short-listed for the award and their teams all the best for the rest of the season.”

The initiative was introduced by the firmus energy Mid-Ulster Youth League as a way to recognise outstanding young footballers in each of the different age categories and improve confidence and a sense of achievement amongst players.

And there could soon be another Rangers winner with U15 central midfielder Kris Thompson leading the early voting for his age category.

Michael O’Kane from the firmus energy MUYL explained: “Each month the award will recognise the best player of a certain age group and the U13 worthy winner was Matthew McCallen, so we would like to pass on our congratulations.

“We look for players who demonstrate dependability, quality of play, commitment to the club and coaches and players that are generally a good role model for their team mates.
“Being nominated by his team mates clearly demonstrates just how much they think of him. The award is a great way to motivate the footballers to perform well and to ensure that they have a great attitude towards the game, training and officials at all times.”

Angeline Murphy, marketing manager for firmus energy, added: “Well done to Matthew on his achievement and being selected out of so many dedicated and talented young footballers in the League. Firmus energy has been working in the Banbridge area for around five years, bringing the offering of natural gas to hundreds of homes and businesses.”