A FORMER Blythe Bridge High School student, who has been pursuing a career as a professional footballer with Stoke City, has moved on to pastures new.
Ollie Shenton, 22, has left the Potters at the end of his contract to take on a fresh challenge with non-league club Chorley in National League North.
The midfielder's progress with Stoke has been stalled by a succession of management changes with the past few seasons seeing him loaned out to non-league clubs Wrexham (National League) and Kidderminster Harriers (National League North)
Ollie, from Blythe Bridge, joined the Stoke City Academy in 2004.
At 15, he began playing regularly with the under-18s side and after showing immense promise was invited to pen a long-term contract with the club in September 2013.
In April 2014, he was a part of the Stoke U17's team which won the Generation Adidas Cup.
Ollie was signed on scholarship forms in July 2014 and in 2014–15 pre-season he began training with the first-team. He played 30 minutes in a 0–0 draw with Burton Albion.
He began the 2014–15 season playing with the under-21's and scored on his debut in a 1–1 draw with Aston Villa.
Ollie made his professional debut on 27 August 2014, coming on as an 81st-minute substitute for Peter Odemwingie in a 3–0 win over Portsmouth in the Football League Cup second round. He became the third youngest Stoke player to come off the bench at the age of 16.
He was called up for the England U18's the following month.
After making his senior debut Ollie earned praise from assistant manager Mark Bowen for his performance
On 25 November 2014 he signed a professional contract with Stoke and made his Premier League debut on 11 February 2015, coming on as an added-time substitute for Steven Nzonzi in a 4–1 home defeat against Manchester City.
The match came two days after the funeral of his mother. Following the game he swapped shirts with England star Frank Lampard, now manager of Premier League Chelsea.
Ollie signed a new four-and-a-half year with the Potters in January 2016, keeping him contracted at the bet365 Stadium until the summer of 2020.
On 20 January 2017 he joined Wrexham on loan for the remainder of the 2016–17 season He played 17 times for the Welsh side, scoring once against Braintree Town on 4 March 2017.
On 30 August 2019, Ollie joined Kidderminster Harriers on a six-month loan. This was extended for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. He scored three goals in 24 matches for Kidderminster until the season was ended early on 22 April 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ollie said of his move to Chorley: I wanted to come to a club that would offer regular football and had ambitions to push on and challenge for promotion, and Chorley are definitely in that category.
"I got a good feel for the National League North last season at Kidderminster and can't wait for football to start up again."