Sports writer, Alex Davis, explores the story of the underdog in the 2015-16 season up and down the Football League.Written by Alex Davis on 5th May 2016
University of Birmingham football captain Christian Burgess joins Middlesbrough
The central defender, who spent four years at Arsenal's academy and had trials elsewhere, will join the Championship outfit immediately and continue his studies in the North-East...
UoB football captain Christian Burgess has signed a full-time contract with Championship side Middlesbrough after a successful trial with the club where he played a number of reserve team matches. The 20-year-old central defender put pen to paper on a two-year deal with Boro who came 7th in England’s second tier last season.
Redbrick Sport had reported on Burgess’ likely departure in June but a statement on the North-East club’s official website finally confirmed the move. Burgess has starred for the University’s football team for the past two seasons and was recently elected captain, but he will now depart in order to try and make it as a professional footballer.
The Essex-born defender told Redbrick Sport previously that he was fully aware of the huge step up in difference between standards, acknowledging ‘University football’s a funny one, the boys play a good standard but it’s a big difference to full-time football to be honest.’
Burgess spent four years at Arsenal’s academy and has also had trials at boyhood club West Ham, as well as Tottenham Hotspur. This is accompanied with a spell for semi-pro side Bishop’s Stortford.
Recommended to Boro by Mark Burke, recently a coach with the University, Burgess will continue his history studies at Teesside University, admitting that ‘my plan was always to get a degree to fall back on and work my way up from semi-professional level.’
Burgess’ new manager will be former West Brom and Celtic manager Tony Mowbray, who told the Evening Gazette, ‘There’s talent there, there’s game understanding there, there’s physicality there, he’s a very intelligent boy.’ Redbrick Sport would like to wish Burgess all the best for the future.