Football: Luke Matheson hailed for on and off pitch achievements

Date published: 02 December 2019

Rochdale AFC’s Luke Matheson has been named as one of 11 young footballers recognised by the League Football Education (LFE).

‘The 11’ acknowledges the football and academic progress of players aged 18 and under on apprenticeships at current or former English Football League (EFL) clubs - and is also designed to assess other factors, including involvement in community or charity-based initiatives.

It has been a whirlwind start to the apprenticeship for Luke, who has been a standout performer for club, country and in his education.

The promising full-back made seven appearances as an under 16 last season and has continued to feature regularly this term, including a magnificent display in the Carabao Cup against Manchester United at Old Trafford, where his second-half volley forced a penalty shootout and thrust the 17-year-old into the media limelight.

Luke, who has earned five caps at England Under 18 level, is also studying three A-Levels – history, psychology and sociology – and despite his busy schedule, the highly-rated youngster is making encouraging progress with his studies.

LFE Regional Officer, Craig Skinner said: “Luke is a role model for all apprentices due to his professionalism on and off the pitch. He has undertaken a difficult task in attempting to balance his significant playing and academic commitments, but his maturity, focus and desire have allowed him to find a working formula to succeed in both areas.”

During the 2019-20 season, 33 apprentices will be selected for the award, which celebrates the holistic development of young players and is a barometer applied to the LFE Apprentice of the Year awards. All three Academy players to triumph at the EFL Awards in April – Max Bird (Derby County), Daniel Adshead (Rochdale AFC – now Norwich City) and Arthur Iontton (Stevenage) – were also previously named in ‘the 11’.

Elsewhere, other notable academy graduates to earn the accolade includes Dominic Calvert-Lewin (formerly of Sheffield United), Lewis Cook (formerly of Leeds United), Ademola Lookman (formerly of Charlton Athletic), Oli McBurnie (formerly of Bradford City) and Ryan Sessegnon (formerly of Fulham).

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