At last Saturday’s home game against Bristol Rovers we welcome eight of the current under-16 squad who will move up to be part of next season’s youth team. All boys have been offered scholarships by the football club. On Saturday they played for our u16s and 18s against Peterborough United. They watched Saturday’s game and then were presented to fans on the pitch at half-time along with Ricky Duncan and Luke Hobbs.
It has been a season where we have gone for quality rather than quantity with lots of boys recommended and unfortunately lots (9) signed players have been released. Through the process we have a group of players that have the POTENTIAL to progress in the game. How they learn, train, listen, behave, work, try and perform over the next two seasons will determine whether or not these players will go on to be professionals. As always Ricky, our coaching staff and myself will do all we can to help the players achieve their dream.
Good luck boys!
Ross Johnson: Team captain. Centre midfield, a strong player physically and mentally. Ross has been at the club for four seasons. He has an excellent attitude on and off the pitch. A leader and has the game understanding to play in various positions. Ross was offered his scholarship when he was an under-15 and also made his debut in the u18s during this season.
Harry Norman: Harry joined us at the start of the season after leaving Leyton orient. He is a midfield player with excellent passing skills both in regards ability/ quality and decision making. His positioning both in and out of possession is very good and plays the game in a very calm and mature manner.
Daniel Matsuzaka: Daniel joined us recently after a season at Crystal Palace. He was recommended by a good contact of mine, Leon Anderson. Daniel is a big strong centre back and it is crazy to think that he is only 2 weeks away from being an under 15! Another well-mannered intelligent boy with excellent parental support. Since Dan has signed he has played more games in the under 18s than he has the u16s. It was great to see him score recently for the under-18s in their 4-3 win against MK Dons.
Freddie Gard: Freddie has been with us since he was an under 10. For me one of the best technical players we have in the academy. Freddie is an attacking midfield player but I think in the last two years due to his ability to recognise space and deal with the ball under pressure he has played in the following positions- wide left, wide right, attacking midfield, defensive midfield and right back. Freddie has scored and assisted lots of goals in the under-16s this season.
Emanuel Adeyeye: Mani is a modern day fullback. Quick, agile with and without the ball and loves getting forward. He has been at the club for 3 years now and is able to play left wing as well as left back. A great crosser of the ball on the run.
Nico Cotton: Nico is a wide left man but also likes playing as the number 10, wide right and has also played as the number 9 this season. He is a real athlete. He has good quality when crossing and shooting with his left and has a big desire to win and compete.
Brandon Scott: Brandon has recently joined us from Charlton where he was for 6 years. A very athletic wide right player. He is really good 1v1 dribbling skills and his end product in particular crossing choice and quality has been really impressive so far. I was really pleased to see Brandon assist Jack Bridges’ goal in his recent u18 debut v MK dons.
Jordan Williams: Right back. Previous club Charlton. 3 days short of being an u15. Excellent 1v1 defender. Lots of athletic potential.
As you can see we encourage many of the boys in our younger age groups to play, develop and learn different positions. This can only help their skill set for when they come into the building on a full time basis.