Matthew Boylan hoping Lincoln City scholarship leads to as good a career as hero Paddy Kenny
PUBLISHED: 08:28 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:54 30 April 2020
The usual mantra when a youngster heads towards professional sport and stardom is to say remember the name – in Matthew Boylan’s case, however, you may have to remember an entirely different one.
The 15-year-old has just signed a two-year scholarship deal with League One Lincoln City after having unsuccessful spells with Cambridge United and Luton Town.
But for anyone who has followed his career from Welwyn Pegasus up or who has played alongside the budding goalkeeper, he is simply known as Paddy.
And that is down to a “different choice” of hero.
“It’s because of Paddy Kenny,” laughed Boylan.
“I’m a QPR fan and when he played for us I thought he was unbelievable.
“At Welwyn Pegasus we didn’t really have a keeper so I got chucked in for the odd game and I was alright so I just became a goalkeeper.
“My coach at Pegasus was also a QPR fan so he started calling me Paddy and it stuck.
“When I got scouted for Cambridge I played with another lad from my school who knew me as Paddy so all the Cambridge lot started calling me Paddy and then Luton caught on and Lincoln have too.
“Even teachers were calling me Paddy by the end.”
The tortuous route taken by Boylan to get to Sincil Bank and the scholarship has made the signing of the deal all the more sweet.
“I’m buzzing to be honest, really, really pleased,” he said.
“I signed my actual scholarship in December but I played a few trial games before that.
“That was after I found out I didn’t get a scholarship at Luton Town. I’d been there for two years but I was able to go to straight to Lincoln.
“I played for Pegasus until I was 12 and then for two years I was at Cambridge United.
“It’s basically an apprentice footballer so I’ll be training every day but learning at the same time.
“You can do A-Levels but it will be more likely that I will be doing a BTEC.
“We do some coaching courses as extra but it will also be strength and conditioning and gym stuff.
“I’d like as many coaching badges as possible, that is something I would like to do later on.
“I’d also like to get enough good grades to get to university just in case football didn’t quite work out.
“One per cent of boys in academy football will get a scholarship and then it’s roughly the same for the next stage.
The former Monk’s Walk pupil, who doesn’t turn 16 until July, says the coronavirus crisis has thrown all plans into disarray.
And although the club are giving him plenty to do, he just wants to get on with his career.
He said: “I’ve been sent a physical conditioning programme to do at home every day and a running programme that I do three times a week.
“I speak to the coaches and the rest of the boys every other day on a Zoom call so we still keep in contact.
“I want to get started to be honest. It’s my job and I just want to do my job well.”
He has had a few trip north prior to the lockdown and will have to get used to new grounds and a stiffer, more physical style of football than he has perhaps been used to.
He said: “If I had a break from school I’d go up and stay in the digs. I was meant to be there for a lot of Easter and we were supposed to be playing an U16 game against Man Utd a couple of weeks ago.
“But that got cancelled and it was supposed to be in our stadium. That would have been good.
“At Luton we played the likes of Peterborough United and MK Dons but at Lincoln it is more the likes of your Grimsbys and Doncasters.
“It’s a bit more suited to me I’d say.
“I’m not worried about the big centre-forward coming in hard because I’ve got a big centre-half doing the same to him.”
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