Cardiff City have signed three of their second-year Apprentices on Professional terms.
Youth-team captain Ibrahim Farah, Nat Jarvis and Alex Evans will all become fully fledged professionals from next season.
Farah has made his name as a tough tackling midfielder in the Club’s youth and reserve teams. Eighteen-year-old striker Jarvis who has made six appearances on loan at Southend this term was the top scorer for the Club’s U18’s last season.
Meanwhile Merthyr Tydfil-born centre-half Evans has made a big impact within the Academy ranks and caught the eye of Manager Dave Jones, a former defender.
The news of the trio’s professional deals came as no surprise to LFE Regional Officer Roger Gibbins, himself an ex-Cardiff City star. Gibbins, who played 281 times for the Bluebirds lauded the Club’s record for churning out youth players who move in to the professional ranks.
“‘Ibby’ (Farah), Nat and Alex have all done really well during their two years.”
“Ibby’s really well thought of at the club, Nat’s another who has done well and come on since his loan spell and Alex is a good solid defender who the Academy staff and Manager rate.”
“I’m sure all three can do well here because Dave Jones isn’t frightened to throw in young players and give them a chance, the likes of Chris Gunter (now Nottingham Forest), Aaron Ramsey (now Arsenal), Adam Matthews and Darcy Blake prove that.”
Gibbins a veteran of over 600 games as a professional did however warn that the ‘hard work starts now’ if they are to following the footsteps of the likes of Gunter, Ramsey et al:
“It’s no good getting a deal and thinking you’ve made it, for the lads the hard work really starts now.”
“They’ve got another chance impress now but as a pro they are going to have to show they are as good if not better than more established players and that they can do a job at first-team level.”
“It’s no good thinking you’ve got it cracked at 18 or 19 years of age, it’s when you’ve hit your mid twenties and you’ve got a couple of hundred league appearances to your name, then you know you’ve done something,” he added.