Ethan and Ryan become first players born in 2000s to play for SSFC
Ethan Biwer and Ryan Colquhoun became the first players born after the turn of the millennium to make a first-team appearance for South Shields on Tuesday.
The Academy pair were brought on in the second half of the Integro League Challenge Cup first round tie with Farsley Celtic at Mariners Park.
Ethan, who turned 17 last month, replaced Alex Nicholson at right-back after 57 minutes of the contest, while Ryan came on in place of Andrew Stephenson to slot in at centre-back for the final nine minutes.
Ryan became the youngest player to appear at first-team level for the Mariners in the club’s history, aged 16 years, four months and 12 days.
Their first-team debuts were rewards for their excellent start to the season with the Academy.
Ethan said: “It was great to get out onto the pitch with the first-team and get some minutes in. It was a great honour to make my debut.
“I was nervous when I first came on, but the lads were really welcoming and helped me settle into the game. I felt quite comfortable.
“The fans cheered an early tackle I made and that just gave me even more energy.
“I just want to keep kicking on now and hopefully get some more opportunities in the future.”
Joint manager Lee Picton said: “When Ethan first came on, he got a fantastic roar from the crowd, and you can’t buy that for a young player. The crowd gave him fantastic support, and it was really great to see.
“Ryan Colquhoun was put in the squad because he showed fantastic character and personality in the FA Youth Cup game against Spennymoor last week.
“He made a mistake on Tuesday and paid the price for it, which happens to everybody. We still think it was the right thing to do to bring the two lads in, and they will undoubtedly gain massively from the experience they had.
“I am in no doubt whatsoever that Ryan will take it on the chin, learn from it and come back from it a better and stronger player. The future is really bright for him.”
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGES: Peter Talbot and Kev Wilson.