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Montrose FC have signed talented Youth Academy prospect, Ben Hermiston on his first professional contract for 18 months until the summer of 2025.

Taking to the Links Park turf at half time against Queen of the South at the start of December saw the 17-year-old make his professional debut, a feat topped just two weeks later with his first professional goal, sparking a dramatic 2-2 comeback draw away to Alloa Athletic.

Born in Australia, Ben’s family moved to Scotland in 2022 where he joined the Gable Endies Youth Academy. Making an instant impact at U16 level, Ben was top goalscorer last season with 28 competitive goals, and this term has continued his good form, including a goal in the U18’s impressive Scottish Youth Cup victory over holders Celtic.

The last player to sign a pro-contract whilst still part of the Academy at Links Park was Martin Boyle, and the Club have equally high hopes for the young Aussie.

Manager Stewart Petrie said, “Ben absolutely deserves this chance, and we are delighted he has agreed to sign an 18-month deal with us. We have been monitoring his development through the Academy for a while now, including involving him in first team training sessions, so we know what he was capable of.

“However, making the step up from youth to first team games can be a huge one, but Ben has demonstrated real maturity and has made an impact every time he has been involved. He carries a genuine threat upfront and will strengthen our attacking options going forward.”

This deal further demonstrates the Clubs commitment to its youth programme, coming only 12 months since Academy Graduate goalie, Ross Matthews was offered his first pro-contract, and last summer Luca Giacomini, Callum Grant and Cammy Middleton were all offered 1 year amateur first team deals. Luca has since left the Club due to a university commitment but Callum and Cammy, together with local youngsters Arron Donald and Aulay Martin continue to enjoy loan spells with the Club’s partner Junior outfit, Montrose Roselea.

In addition, five other Academy players have made the bench for Petrie’s team this season, namely: Jay Cochrane, Rio Bradford, Innes Paton, Harry Craig and Connell Clarke. Both Innes and Harry also made their debuts in the second half of the Queen of the South game in December, with Harry, at just 16 years of age, featuring again from the bench both at Galabank last week against Annan Athletic and last Saturday at home against Stirling Albion.

Academy Lead David Burns added, “We continue to be delighted with the progress of all our boys and the opportunities and involvement they are getting in and around the first team. We are obviously incredibly excited for Ben, seeing him sign his first pro-contract just validates once again all the hard work being done by the players, coaches and staff within the Academy, creating a genuine and realistic pathway for our future talent.”