Brighton & Hove Albion boss Gus Poyet has told six of the Club’s eight second-year Apprentices they will be offered professional contracts for next season.
Defenders Lewis Dunk, Grant Hall and James Smith, midfielders Ryan Thomson and Conor Wilkins, and striker George Barker have all been offered pro deals.
Leon Redwood’s Apprenticeship deal has been extended by a further year, after his first year as a Apprentice was postponed due to a cruciate knee ligament injury.
Albion’s Director of Youth Martin Hinshelwood said:
“The boys have worked hard over the past two years to get to this stage, and I would like to congratulate them on their achievement.”
“However this is only the start for them, they have made big steps forward throughout their time with the Club, but the next step they have to make is the biggest.”
“They will report back as professionals at the end of June, but they should think of themselves as professional footballers as of today and make sure they keep come back as prepared as they possibly can be to give themselves a chance of breaking through.”
Defender Lee Cooper has been released, and Hinshelwood added,
“It is always the most difficult part of the job and even though we have only released Lee this season, it doesn’t make it any easier telling someone they will not be offered a contract.”
“Lee has worked hard over the past two years and been a credit to the Football Club and himself, and I would like to first and foremost thank him for his efforts and wish him all the best for the future. We will help in anyway we can to assist him in the future.”
Meanwhile Albion have offered Apprenticeship deals to six schoolboys for next season, including England youth international Jake Caskey and former Albion player Stuart Tuck’s nephew Douglas Tuck.