NextGenWatch: Jack Harpur – Young Scot Growing Up In Madrid Academy

Trying to apply a Spanish style of football into the British game has been talked about hugely over the last 18 months, and rightly so, why not follow successful development set-ups?

However for Scottish attacking-midfielder, Jack Harper, he has been fortunate enough to actually learn his trade to date in Real Madrid’s famed Castilla Academy. The 16-year-old is Spanish born but both his parents are Scottish, meaning he has already caught the attention of many people across Europe.

Jack was born in Malaga and grew up there playing for a local club before signing for Madrid in 2009 at the age of 14. His family aren’t short of sporting talent with Jack’s brother, Ryan, who is also carving out a career in Spain. The 25-year-old played for Real Betis B  in 2010 and after recent moves now plays for Segunda B side Fuenlabrada. His younger brother also plays for Fuengirola. But Jack has the potential to be the most successful in the family, so much so that on  joining the club, Madrid coach Santiago Sanchez said, ‘He [Jack] has a lot of talent and, while he has a lot of developing to do, I really believe he will play for Real Madrid in years to come.”

And fans will be pleased to hear that the number 10 has committed his future to Scotland, a decision he made before representing them at U15 and U16 level. The young man is mixing it with some of Europe’s finest young players at the Castilla but is said to be extremely level headed and focused on his future. If his development continues as it has suggested, along with the likes of Islam Feruz (Chelsea) and James Keatings (Celtic) coming through, Scotland can look forward to a healthy generation of footballers.

What do we know about him…
D.O.B – 28/06/1996 (Age: 16)
Nationality – Scottish. He has represented Scotland at U15 and U16 level
Height – 5ft 6in
Position – Attacking Midfielder / Forward
Attributes: Creativity / Finishing 
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