Performance School Graduate Makes The Most of His Chances

C:WindowsTempphp6761.tmpLogan Chalmers made his debut for Dundee United in July this year, and the graduate from the SFA Performance School is now looking to make a bigger impact in the first team.  Chalmers had just turned 17 when he was handed a place in the first team squad in United’s Leauge Cup tie against Cowdenbeath, coming on for the last 15 minutes of the game just four years since he started as a Performance School pupil at St. John’s RC.

Chalmers said: "Making my debut was obviously a special time for me.  You work so hard to get to that stage, so it was a great moment. I’d been training with the first team towards the end of the week, but seeing my name on the squad sheet on the Friday was surreal.  I was able to have my Mum and Dad at the game, along with my younger brother who’s only one. It was a special feeling walking out of the tunnel with them watching on."

Chalmers topped that feeling later this year when he scored the winning goal against Linfield in the third round of the Challenge Cup, with virtually the last kick of the game. He said: "
As I went onto the pitch the manager told me I was going to score so that definitely encouraged me. As an attacker, your dream is always to go on so to score the winning goal and celebrate with the players and fans was surreal."

Along with fellow Dundee United's Scott Reekie, St Mirren’s Ethan Erahon, Aberdeen’s Dean Campbell as well as Hearts pair Harry Cochrane and Anthony McDonald, Chalmers is one of six Performance School graduates to have progressed to join their respective first teams. Like many young players, Chalmers recognises the help he has had along the way; Willo Flood being his mentor at United. Chalmers said: "
There’s players in the first team that have played a big part in helping me fit in with the squad.  Willo Flood is someone who has particularly helped by encouraging me and picking me up when I make mistakes. Obviously results have been good lately and the club is progressing well and it’s a good atmosphere to play and learn in. Hopefully we will be able to gain promotion and I’ll continue to push for a first team place".

Looking back at his Performance School days, Chalmers said: "
Being able to play football everyday is the dream of every young boy.   Knowing that after your classes you have the chance to play football definitely motivates you to work harder and do your best in school.  I’ve still got friends who I don’t play football with but met through the performance schools and keep in contact with.  It gives you a great start in your career, and I know it played a huge part in my development as a player.  I wouldn’t be at the level I am now without the Performance Schools."

Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)

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