It’s been a hard season for St Mirren in their return to the Scottish Premiership. They have been fighting relegation all season, however, one big positive they can take from this campaign is the success their academy has had.
Whether it has been in Paisley or elsewhere, plenty of homegrown Buddies have played key roles at their current clubs this year.
Aston Villa star John McGinn and “mayor of Norwich” Kenny McLean are the standouts after excellent seasons in the English Championship, whilst other academy graduates have featured a bit closer to home.
Wherever it has been, The Saints’ academy can be proud of the success some of their former stars have had.
St Mirren academy players thriving elsewhere
Starting with McGinn and McLean, these two midfielders have been great for their new sides. After making good impressions in the SPFL, McGinn and McLean earned moves south of the border.
Canaries midfielder McLean will be a Premier League player next term after Norwich won the Championship title. McGinn could soon join him, after the Villains reached the Championship play-off final.
Even further down the leagues in England, there was a former Buddie thriving. St Mirren academy graduate Jason Naismith was an ever-present in League One as Peterborough narrowly missed out on the play-offs.
Lewis Morgan, however, is another player from the St Mirren academy who will play in an English play-off final. He is currently at Sunderland on loan from Celtic. The winger has shown flashes of brilliance as the Black Cats look for a swift return to the Championship via the League One play-offs.
Closer to Paisley though the academy have also seen success. Former academy star Stevie Mallan picked up Hibs’ Players’ Player of the Year and Player of the Year awards, following a brilliant season at Easter Road.
Academy success in Paisley
Perhaps most importantly, there have been plenty of success stories from the academy playing for St Mirren this season. The McGinn brothers, Paul and Stephen, have been key men for Oran Kearney this season, with the latter captaining this side.
The likes of Kyle McAllister, Ethan Erhahon, Kyle Magennis and Jack Baird are just a few Buddies academy graduates that have played plenty of football for the first team this season.
It’s fair to say the St Mirren academy have enjoyed unprecedented success this year. The club clearly have a great model in place for youngsters to develop.
Paisley looks like one of the best places in Scotland for young players to grow. It might just help attract the stars of tomorrow to the club