JAMIE McCombe believes he has the current Doncaster Rovers Head of Youth Paul Wilson to thank for his successful career in the game.
Towering centre-back McCombe, originally from Pontefract, worked alongside Wilson as a young prospect at Scunthorpe United, where the 29-year-old had his first taste of senior football.
Since then McCombe has played as high up at the Championship with Bristol City and is looking to enjoy his prime years as a footballer at the Keepmoat after he penned a two-year-deal in the summer.
Despite the success he’s had so far in his career, McCombe still remains grateful to his original mentor Wilson for tutoring him in how to become a professional footballer.
He said: “Paul Wilson was my youth-team manager at Scunthorpe when I started out 13 years ago. I have been in touch with him ever since.
“He is fantastic and looked after me. He taught me some valuable lessons and he made us from boys to men in terms of teaching us discipline and respect and taught us a lot of football.”
Even though McCombe is in his eleventh year as a professional, he believes that things he learned as a teenager are still useful to him today.
“A lot of the values he taught us from 16 to 19 when I was with him I have carried on,” continued McCombe.
“The work ethic and grounding he gave me has stood me in good stead throughout my career so I owe him a lot for that.”
Wilson, alongside Paul Stancliffe, oversees the current crop of Rovers youngsters and they have made a promising and thus far unbeaten start to the season and sit atop of the North East Youth Alliance.
A 2-1 win at the weekend over Notts County ensured Rovers’ fourth win in a row but a serious injury to striker Chris Whincop could prove to be a major blow. The youngster suffered a broken fibula in the match and will face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The Under 18s’ next outing is a week on Saturday away to Bradford City, who are managed by former Rotherham academy boss Steve Thornber.