Kinder: Blackburn Rovers youngster Mahoney won't get carried away

This Is Lancashire: Connor Mahoney Connor Mahoney

IT is a story ripped right out of the pages of Roy of the Rovers.

Sixteen-year-old signs for his hometown club and within a month is making his debut on one of the biggest stages in world football.

But this is no fairytale.

This is exactly what has happened to Connor Mahoney since he swapped Accrington Stanley for Blackburn Rovers late last year.

And incredibly his rollercoaster ride is showing no signs of slowing down.

After becoming the third youngest players in Rovers’ history – at 16 years and 337 days – when he came off the bench in the FA Cup replay against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, Blackburn-born Mahoney is now on the verge of making his England Under 17s debut.

The former Witton Park High School student will take his place in John Peacock’s squad for next week’s friendly double header with Belgium at St George’s Park after he was called off the standby list following an injury to Arsenal wonderkid Dan Crowley.

Remarkably it is just over two months since Mahoney – who was an unused substitute for Rovers in their New Year’s Day Championship win at Leeds United – was turning out for Accrington’s U18s at a wet and windy Lancaster and Morecambe College.

It was there where Rovers U21s boss Eric Kinder spotted the two-footed winger’s potential and made it his mission to bring him to Ewood Park.

But even the vastly experienced Kinder could not have predicted what was to follow.

“It’s been a whirlwind six weeks for Connor – I’ve never experienced anything like it,” said Kinder.

“One minute I’m watching him play at Morecambe College for Accrington Stanley U18s on a horrific, wet day and then two months later he’s trained with our first team, played for our U21s, been a substitute at Elland Road, come on at the Etihad and has now been selected to play for England U17s.

“Our job now is to make sure that his feet stay on the floor and that he learns the game properly because he is a talented boy.

“But although I’ve only known him for six weeks, I can see he is very level headed.

“But you would not blame him if it did go to his head and he did start swanning around the place because it’s absolutely unbelievable what has happened to him.

“But I just can’t see it as he’s got his feet on the floor. I’ve started calling him Billy Big Time. He doesn’t like it as he’s far from that.

“You could see that on Monday after the U21s game.

“He walks out of the dressing room and he was carrying all the kit – that’s what a 16-year-old should be doing, helping the kitman and doing his jobs.

“But he does them with a smile on his face as he’s absolutely living the dream.”

Kinder knows there will come a time when the rollercoaster will start to go down. But he also knows that Mahoney could not be at a better club than Rovers – who from first-team manager Gary Bowyer down, care passionately about youth development – to give him the support he needs.

“He’s surrounded by good people who have dealt with all this before,” said Kinder, who was brought back to Rovers for a second spell by Bowyer in the summer after seven highly successful years in charge of Carlisle United’s U18s.

“We will know what to do when the rollercoaster starts going downhill.

“We’ve told him that football is not like this – it does not keep going up and up all the time.

“He has done nothing but go up.

“It will come down, though, and that’s when he’ll rely on us to help him through it. But I’m absolutely delighted for him and I’m absolutely delighted for the club.”

“We made the right decision in going for him and I have to thank the owners, Derek Shaw and Ian Silvester for backing my judgement.

“He needs to develop into his body as he’s nowhere near the other 17-year-olds because, with no disrespect to Accrington, they haven’t got the facilities that we have.

“Let’s hope he does well for England and then comes back here and continues to progress with us.”

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:34am Sat 25 Jan 14

Kappy says...

Glad he's two-footed. The one's with one foot often fall over their crutches.
Glad he's two-footed. The one's with one foot often fall over their crutches. Kappy

12:17pm Sat 25 Jan 14

greenscreener says...

Hope we can find room for him on the bench today, promising young talent needs to be encouraged like this.
Hope we can find room for him on the bench today, promising young talent needs to be encouraged like this. greenscreener

12:41pm Sat 25 Jan 14

gleechy says...

Is this the level of news worthy comments the club has bottomed out at?
Someone did their job and found a promising youth player, he has a long way to go before they start giving out awards, who put the club in such a position that they are desperate for scraps?
The Champagne is on ice this is a very small antidote for the shambles they created, lets not brag about doing the right thing just yet.
Is this the level of news worthy comments the club has bottomed out at? Someone did their job and found a promising youth player, he has a long way to go before they start giving out awards, who put the club in such a position that they are desperate for scraps? The Champagne is on ice this is a very small antidote for the shambles they created, lets not brag about doing the right thing just yet. gleechy

1:05pm Sat 25 Jan 14

greenscreener says...

gleechy wrote:
Is this the level of news worthy comments the club has bottomed out at?
Someone did their job and found a promising youth player, he has a long way to go before they start giving out awards, who put the club in such a position that they are desperate for scraps?
The Champagne is on ice this is a very small antidote for the shambles they created, lets not brag about doing the right thing just yet.
I think you will find most clubs are happy to acknowledge when they have a 16 yr old deemed good enough to turn out for the first team. In the same way that most clubs have at least one tosspot who thinks its clever to moan about everything.
Unfortunately Rovers are more blessed than most when it comes to the latter.
Cheer up and Get a life.
[quote][p][bold]gleechy[/bold] wrote: Is this the level of news worthy comments the club has bottomed out at? Someone did their job and found a promising youth player, he has a long way to go before they start giving out awards, who put the club in such a position that they are desperate for scraps? The Champagne is on ice this is a very small antidote for the shambles they created, lets not brag about doing the right thing just yet.[/p][/quote]I think you will find most clubs are happy to acknowledge when they have a 16 yr old deemed good enough to turn out for the first team. In the same way that most clubs have at least one tosspot who thinks its clever to moan about everything. Unfortunately Rovers are more blessed than most when it comes to the latter. Cheer up and Get a life. greenscreener

1:39pm Sat 25 Jan 14

owd nick says...

gleechy wrote:
Is this the level of news worthy comments the club has bottomed out at?
Someone did their job and found a promising youth player, he has a long way to go before they start giving out awards, who put the club in such a position that they are desperate for scraps?
The Champagne is on ice this is a very small antidote for the shambles they created, lets not brag about doing the right thing just yet.
It's called communication, it shows the club is taking notice and keeping its fans informed of what is going on, something that the current regime have leaned the hard way is totally necessary.

It's telling us we are slowly getting back on the right path.
[quote][p][bold]gleechy[/bold] wrote: Is this the level of news worthy comments the club has bottomed out at? Someone did their job and found a promising youth player, he has a long way to go before they start giving out awards, who put the club in such a position that they are desperate for scraps? The Champagne is on ice this is a very small antidote for the shambles they created, lets not brag about doing the right thing just yet.[/p][/quote]It's called communication, it shows the club is taking notice and keeping its fans informed of what is going on, something that the current regime have leaned the hard way is totally necessary. It's telling us we are slowly getting back on the right path. owd nick

1:44pm Sat 25 Jan 14

2014 and a stadium with wood seats? says...

greenscreener wrote:
gleechy wrote:
Is this the level of news worthy comments the club has bottomed out at?
Someone did their job and found a promising youth player, he has a long way to go before they start giving out awards, who put the club in such a position that they are desperate for scraps?
The Champagne is on ice this is a very small antidote for the shambles they created, lets not brag about doing the right thing just yet.
I think you will find most clubs are happy to acknowledge when they have a 16 yr old deemed good enough to turn out for the first team. In the same way that most clubs have at least one tosspot who thinks its clever to moan about everything.
Unfortunately Rovers are more blessed than most when it comes to the latter.
Cheer up and Get a life.
Perfectly worded....was same for Mr D Duff..a young lad with a lot of ability so I'm optimistic we could have a good one here...people need to start cheering up on here and also in life in general going off what they write..big smile BIG SMILE !!!.
[quote][p][bold]greenscreener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gleechy[/bold] wrote: Is this the level of news worthy comments the club has bottomed out at? Someone did their job and found a promising youth player, he has a long way to go before they start giving out awards, who put the club in such a position that they are desperate for scraps? The Champagne is on ice this is a very small antidote for the shambles they created, lets not brag about doing the right thing just yet.[/p][/quote]I think you will find most clubs are happy to acknowledge when they have a 16 yr old deemed good enough to turn out for the first team. In the same way that most clubs have at least one tosspot who thinks its clever to moan about everything. Unfortunately Rovers are more blessed than most when it comes to the latter. Cheer up and Get a life.[/p][/quote]Perfectly worded....was same for Mr D Duff..a young lad with a lot of ability so I'm optimistic we could have a good one here...people need to start cheering up on here and also in life in general going off what they write..big smile BIG SMILE !!!. 2014 and a stadium with wood seats?

1:51pm Sat 25 Jan 14

owd nick says...

2014 and a stadium with wood seats? wrote:
greenscreener wrote:
gleechy wrote:
Is this the level of news worthy comments the club has bottomed out at?
Someone did their job and found a promising youth player, he has a long way to go before they start giving out awards, who put the club in such a position that they are desperate for scraps?
The Champagne is on ice this is a very small antidote for the shambles they created, lets not brag about doing the right thing just yet.
I think you will find most clubs are happy to acknowledge when they have a 16 yr old deemed good enough to turn out for the first team. In the same way that most clubs have at least one tosspot who thinks its clever to moan about everything.
Unfortunately Rovers are more blessed than most when it comes to the latter.
Cheer up and Get a life.
Perfectly worded....was same for Mr D Duff..a young lad with a lot of ability so I'm optimistic we could have a good one here...people need to start cheering up on here and also in life in general going off what they write..big smile BIG SMILE !!!.
I have just had a quick look on the Burnley posts, I think there are 3 comments added today, I have just made one of them. lol.
[quote][p][bold]2014 and a stadium with wood seats?[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]greenscreener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gleechy[/bold] wrote: Is this the level of news worthy comments the club has bottomed out at? Someone did their job and found a promising youth player, he has a long way to go before they start giving out awards, who put the club in such a position that they are desperate for scraps? The Champagne is on ice this is a very small antidote for the shambles they created, lets not brag about doing the right thing just yet.[/p][/quote]I think you will find most clubs are happy to acknowledge when they have a 16 yr old deemed good enough to turn out for the first team. In the same way that most clubs have at least one tosspot who thinks its clever to moan about everything. Unfortunately Rovers are more blessed than most when it comes to the latter. Cheer up and Get a life.[/p][/quote]Perfectly worded....was same for Mr D Duff..a young lad with a lot of ability so I'm optimistic we could have a good one here...people need to start cheering up on here and also in life in general going off what they write..big smile BIG SMILE !!!.[/p][/quote]I have just had a quick look on the Burnley posts, I think there are 3 comments added today, I have just made one of them. lol. owd nick

6:44pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Angry From Accrington says...

Best of luck to the lad. I'm surprised he went to Witton Park High School though. His name suggests he might be a ****.
Best of luck to the lad. I'm surprised he went to Witton Park High School though. His name suggests he might be a ****. Angry From Accrington

9:24am Sun 26 Jan 14

greenscreener says...

2014 and a stadium with wood seats? wrote:
greenscreener wrote:
gleechy wrote:
Is this the level of news worthy comments the club has bottomed out at?
Someone did their job and found a promising youth player, he has a long way to go before they start giving out awards, who put the club in such a position that they are desperate for scraps?
The Champagne is on ice this is a very small antidote for the shambles they created, lets not brag about doing the right thing just yet.
I think you will find most clubs are happy to acknowledge when they have a 16 yr old deemed good enough to turn out for the first team. In the same way that most clubs have at least one tosspot who thinks its clever to moan about everything.
Unfortunately Rovers are more blessed than most when it comes to the latter.
Cheer up and Get a life.
Perfectly worded....was same for Mr D Duff..a young lad with a lot of ability so I'm optimistic we could have a good one here...people need to start cheering up on here and also in life in general going off what they write..big smile BIG SMILE !!!.
Thanks for those kind words. I find a lot to smile about in these pages, the humour of the smarter correspondents is entertaining and the fact that some of the less gifted chimps have managed to master the internet, if not the English language, would have Charles Darwin grinning profusely .
[quote][p][bold]2014 and a stadium with wood seats?[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]greenscreener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gleechy[/bold] wrote: Is this the level of news worthy comments the club has bottomed out at? Someone did their job and found a promising youth player, he has a long way to go before they start giving out awards, who put the club in such a position that they are desperate for scraps? The Champagne is on ice this is a very small antidote for the shambles they created, lets not brag about doing the right thing just yet.[/p][/quote]I think you will find most clubs are happy to acknowledge when they have a 16 yr old deemed good enough to turn out for the first team. In the same way that most clubs have at least one tosspot who thinks its clever to moan about everything. Unfortunately Rovers are more blessed than most when it comes to the latter. Cheer up and Get a life.[/p][/quote]Perfectly worded....was same for Mr D Duff..a young lad with a lot of ability so I'm optimistic we could have a good one here...people need to start cheering up on here and also in life in general going off what they write..big smile BIG SMILE !!!.[/p][/quote]Thanks for those kind words. I find a lot to smile about in these pages, the humour of the smarter correspondents is entertaining and the fact that some of the less gifted chimps have managed to master the internet, if not the English language, would have Charles Darwin grinning profusely . greenscreener

8:45pm Sun 26 Jan 14

RobH2O says...

Carried away? He needs to jump in the boot of the nearest car and ensure he get as far away as possible!

Up the Clarets!
Carried away? He needs to jump in the boot of the nearest car and ensure he get as far away as possible! Up the Clarets! RobH2O

1:08pm Mon 27 Jan 14

We'll win the next one says...

RobH2O wrote:
Carried away? He needs to jump in the boot of the nearest car and ensure he get as far away as possible! Up the Clarets!
Thanks for your input Rob you inbreed.
[quote][p][bold]RobH2O[/bold] wrote: Carried away? He needs to jump in the boot of the nearest car and ensure he get as far away as possible! Up the Clarets![/p][/quote]Thanks for your input Rob you inbreed. We'll win the next one

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree