LFE takes a closer look at the players to make ‘The 11’ in June 2017 and why they’ve been included:
Tom Scott (AFC Wimbledon)
Tom has enjoyed a very good end to his first year, continuing to make excellent progress in both football and Education aspects of the programme and recently received the club’s Academy Player of the Year award.
Second Professional Development Phase Coach James Oliver-Pearce said: “Tom’s performance levels have been consistently good throughout the block and he constantly shows a great desire to improve.
“He has achieved his Personal Development targets this block and now displays excellent variety in his pass selection.”
In the classroom, the teenage defender is on course to achieve a DDD profile in the Extended Diploma.
BTEC tutor Erand Jonuzi told LFE: “Tom has made tremendous progress since September with his contribution in class, alongside great maturity, commitment and self-motivation towards the work.
“Tom continues to be punctual and always attends his classes and his work has benefited because of this.”
Oliver Mulders (Birmingham City)
Oliver has been awarded a professional contract at Birmingham City having been almost ever present in the Under-18 team during both seasons, captaining the side on many occasions. He has also played an integral role in the Under-23 season during his second year.
Aside from the playing aspect of the apprenticeship, the 18-year-old has undertaken the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma and performed in a consistently outstanding fashion to achieve a D*D*D* profile at the culmination of his course. He has completed his NVQ program successfully along with now being a fully qualified Level 2 FA coach.
“Oliver has shown an exemplary attitude both on and off the field during his two year scholarship,” LFE Regional Officer Ian King said.
“He has proven to be a model scholar and should be rewarded and used as a positive role model for up and coming potential scholars at the club who are aspiring to become LFE scholars.”
Lewis Thompson (Blackburn Rovers)
Lewis had a great first year, becoming a consistent performer for the Under-18s, leading to his progression to the Under-23 side, who he started a handful of games for towards the end of the season.
The 17-year-old has also been recognised on the international stage having represented Northern Ireland at youth level.
In addition, Lewis has maintained an exceptional academic standard and is achieving distinctions in every unit towards the Extended Diploma.
Tommy Wood (Burnley)
Tommy has continued to make great strides at Turf Moor after being awarded Youth Team Player of the Year last term.
The striker earned an extra year to his scholarship after starring for the Under-18 side that finished runners-up in the North-West Youth Alliance division, as well as featuring for the Under-23 team.
“Tommy thoroughly deserves this award,” Regional Officer Craig Skinner said. “He’s contributed fantastically on his education programme by achieving D*D*D in his Extended Diploma and the club have activated the third year of his scholarship to allow him to further develop as a player.”
Billy Crellin (Fleetwood Town)
Billy has enjoyed a superb run of form in between the sticks for the Under-18s and was rewarded with his first professional contract as he committed his future to Fleetwood until summer 2020.
The 16-year-old goalkeeper has shown great maturity to balance his on-field success with ongoing dedication to his BTEC course, in which he attained DD.
“Billy has had a remarkable first year and this latest period has been strong in all areas,” said Regional Officer Simon Williams.
“The obvious distractions with signing an early professional contract have been no concern with Billy. He remains grounded and if anything has worked even harder off the field.
“He continues to show impressive leadership skills and is a positive influence among his teammates.”
Sam Dalby (Leyton Orient)
First-year scholar Sam was called up to the first-team for struggling Orient early in the season and made his league debut at 16 against Wycombe in December.
A week later, Sam marked his first senior start with a Boxing Day goal as the O’s beat Crawley 3-2.
Despite being away with the first-team for most of the season, the 17-year-old was diligent in his duties and responsibilities to the apprenticeship and his Under-18 team-mates.
Regional Officer Gavin Willacy said: “Sam worked extremely hard on his BTEC Extended Diploma at Rushcroft School, where he is expected to get distinctions.
“He applied himself well in classes and NVQ sessions, helped tidy up around the training ground and remained level-headed throughout an extraordinary season in which he made 16 League Two appearances.”
Luke Andersen (Lincoln City)
Luke flourished on the pitch this year, captaining Lincoln’s Under-21 outfit and earning a first-team debut in a 2-0 win against Boreham Wood in October, as well as playing 25 senior matches as part of work experience.
He has also immersed himself in a number of different projects in the classroom, completing extended units and coaching in a local primary school to gain extra experience for his pursuit of a coaching career.
Luke will be an ambassador next year on behalf of the academy while studying, as he has been accepted onto a Coaching and Teaching Foundation degree at Bishop Grosseteste University.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the midfielder has also applied to join the schoolboy academy coaching staff for 2017/18.
Hugo Logan (Milton Keynes Dons)
Hugo has been a leader this year as a senior figure in a young Under-18s team, acting as an excellent role model for the younger players.
And his efforts have been recognised as the Dons handed the creative midfielder a professional deal, while also giving him a spot on the first-team bench for the final game of the season at Walsall.
“It’s a great achievement,” he told the club website. “I feel like I’ve worked hard over the last two years and hopefully I can kick on now and improve even further.”
Off the pitch, Hugo has been a dedicated student at MK College, achieving the BTEC Extended Diploma and had made applications to University, although those plans to pursue Higher Education will now be put on hold.
Rhys Kavanagh (Newport County)
Rhys starred in Newport’s Merit League 1 winning side, in which County led by 10 points while remaining unbeaten, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games.
The striker, who has been offered a professional contract by the club, netted on a regular basis towards the end of the season and was rewarded with a week’s training with Swansea City.
He has also put in great effort to complete the ASE framework, in particular passing Functional Skills in both English and Maths.
Tyler Smith (Sheffield United)
Tyler has been rewarded for his accomplished in a variety of positions for the Under-18s and Under 23s by receiving a two-year professional contract.
He has been in great goal scoring form this season, netting 18 goals across both age groups. Prior to stepping up to becoming a regular in the Under-23s, Tyler’s early season form for the Under-18s was a big factor in the Blades storming to the Professional Development League 2 title.
Blades Training & Development Manager Sue Beeley said: “Tyler has worked hard on his education to ensure he completes his qualifications although not always finding it easy.
“He has always been willing to support community activity.”
Matthew Taylor (Wigan Athletic)
Matthew is an inspiration to those players who are rejected by one club but continue to chase the dream of becoming a professional.
The 18-year-old did not receive an offer from Wigan at the end of his scholarship, but quickly picked himself up and gained a trial at Derby County, where he has now signed professional forms.
The left-back has also flourished in the education side of the apprenticeship, earning a final grade of D*D*D*.
“Matthew is a credit to all the hard work he has put in both in college and on the pitch,” Regional Officer Claire Wilberforce-Marsh said.
“I have been to visit him at Derby and all the coaches are really happy with him both on and off the pitch. He is a true role model.”