Gregor Rioch delighted to have signed striker James Berry as an apprentice in time for Exeter City FA Youth Cup game
- James Berry signs as an apprentice with Wigan Athletic
- “James is a talented prospect” – Gregor Rioch
- Wigan Athletic face Exeter City in the FA Youth Cup
Gregor Rioch, the Head of Wigan Athletic’s Academy, has spoken of his delight after signing 16 year old Wigan-born striker James Berry following his release by Liverpool this week.
Latics-supporting Berry has signed a two year scholarship which will keep him at the club until the summer of 2019.
He has immediately been included in the squad for the FA Cup Youth Round Third Round tie against Exeter City at St James’ Park.
James is from Winstanley and although he has been with the Reds Academy since the age of seven, he is a Latics supporter and has been a regular visitor to the DW Stadium.
Rioch said, “We are all delighted that James has chosen to sign for his home-town club.
"He is a talented player and we have kept a close eye on him over the past few seasons. I watched him play when he was 13 and our Head of recruitment, Kenny Williams, alerted me that James was from Wigan and is a Latics fan.
James signs on the dotted line, with (from left), U18s coach Nick Chadwick, his father Cliff and Head of Wigan Athletic Academy Gregor Rioch
Rioch added: “James was outstanding on the day and we have tracked his progress since. James will feel unfortunate not to be an apprentice at Liverpool next season and he has had the opportunity to sign for a number of Premier League clubs in the past few weeks but he feels this is the right place for him to develop as a footballer.
“We welcome James and his parents to Wigan Athletic, he will get a great schooling here under Nick Chadwick and Peter Atherton”.
Latics’ Under 18s face Exeter City, tonight, Tuesday 13 December, in the FA Youth Cup 3rd Round. The winners will play Southampton at home in the 4th Round