Can you be like Lamar? Updated
Saturday August 5th 2017 - updated Wednesday August 9th 2017
In today's Sun newspaper there is an article about Lamar Reynolds:
Lamar joined the ranks of Barking FC at 14 years of age and played through to his was 16 when he was offered a two year scholarship within the club's pathway. He then went on to play for the Reserve Team before breaking into the first team at 17 and in total made 57 league and cup appearances scoring 23 for us. .
Now Lamar has secured a professional contract with Newport County and we can wish him well and admire his determination and will to succeed.
Update 9th August 2017: George Sessions of the Barking & Daganhem Post interviewed Mick O'Shea about Lamar:
Barking Football Club academy director Mick O’Shea is determined to help more youngsters from the local area achieve their dream of becoming a professional footballer after watching Lamar Reynolds make his Football League debut at the weekend.
The forward, who was originally part of the Blues scholarship scheme at Mayesbrook Park, played 90 minutes for the Exiles at Stevenage in League Two on Saturday.
It was a proud moment for O’Shea, Barking chairman Rob O’Brien and many others at the Isthmian North club.
Reynolds progressed through the youth set-up in 2013 before eventually getting a chance with Newport this summer.
And O’Shea, after seeing one of Barking Football Club’s academy graduates start to carve our a career in the pro game, wants to help others do the same.
He said: “We know we have a lot of competition when it comes to football around this area, but we are successful at what we do.
“We have great links with Brighton & Hove Albion and we have sent kids for trials there and we are constantly in contact with the guys at Arsenal.
“I think Lamar has showed that you can develop and get chances by coming through the Barking FC academy and I want to find many more.”
A number of teenagers have been given opportunities in the first-team by boss Glen Golby in recent seasons.
Most of them have been nurtured by O’Shea in the Blues under-19 scholarship team, which competes in the Football Conference (National) Youth Alliance League.
During the 2015/16 season, Barking Football Club’s academy side made the final of the competition before losing 3-1 to Kidderminster Harries in the final.
“We are recruiting all the time and will have at least two under-19 teams going this season, but hopefully more,” said O’Shea.
“One of the sides plays in the National under-19 division and we reached the final two years ago, so that just shows Lamar is not the only one coming through our academy.
“We beat teams like Dagenham & Redbridge, Brentford and Dover Athletic to play Kidderminster at Wycombe’s ground and it highlights the players we are producing.
“Rob and I just want to give young lads a chance and a platform to play football whilst getting an education at the same time.
“Lamar has gone to Newport after spending time with us, but I know there are a lot more kids like him in our area, so we just need to find them.”
Reynolds joined Barking’s ranks as a 14-year-old and went on to play 57 times for the first-team and scored on 23 occasions in the process.
O’Shea believes the former Blues attacker has the chance to go even further than League Two, but knows he needs time to develop at the Exiles.
He added: “Lamar has the pace and if Newport can work with him he will be serving them up this season. He has been scoring a few in pre-season and did okay at the weekend by all accounts and it is great for us to see that.
“Obviously he is raw when it comes to the pro game, but he is rapid and has so much potential. Jamie Vardy has been talking him up and I do believe he could go far, so hopefully Newport can keep developing him.”
While Reynolds has moved on from Barking, O’Shea and O’Brien are now looking for the next big talent from the local area.
The Blues have several teams playing competitive football at Mayesbrook Park, so there are chances for youngsters to develop.
If you want to follow in Lamar's footsteps and are 16 to 18 years then please contact our Academy Director Mick O'Shea on 07762 636015.