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The 11 - May 2024 (in-depth)

The 11 – May 2024 (in-depth)

Let’s take a closer look at ‘The 11’ for May 2024 and find out why each apprentice was included…

Charlie Parks | Lincoln City

Imps central defender and first-year apprentice Charlie Parks has been a regular for the Club’s U18s and U21s this season and has also been excelling off the pitch, producing fantastic work in his educational endeavours. His work is said to be of a consistent high level, while hitting his deadlines every time.

Charlie has had to be patient this season after suffering a long-term injury, but thanks to his commitment, close work with the Club’s strength and conditioning team and keeping a keen eye on maximising his recovery through nutrition, he is returning stronger and fitter.

He’s also been volunteering with Lincoln’s day release programme, staying behind on Thursday’s to help assist the Club’s younger players. Head of Education at Lincoln, Emma Metheringham said: “Charlie has been working with a young man who needs help to improve his reading age and Charlie has worked with our English tutor to put in place strategies to help boost the boy’s confidence. Charlie has taken to this really well showing support and sensitivity to the situation far beyond his years. As such he is now a regular feature of our day release programme and the boys love having him around to help with other academic areas, they need support with.  He is a fantastic young man.”

His LFE Regional Officer, Paul Bartlett, added: “Charlie is making a real difference to the lads attending on the hybrid programme and is a great role model for the younger age groups. He is performing brilliantly in education and was training with the 1st team earlier this season.”

Max Adamson | Doncaster Rovers

Max Adamson joined the Apprenticeship Programme from a grassroots football team. Upon starting the programme he required additional learning support which has been provided by the Club and LFE. The Rovers forward has worked really hard to achieve a pass grade in his SEP (Sporting Excellence Professional Programme) and his BTEC Extended Certificate. He’s also achieved various additional qualifications such as his UEFA C Coaching and referee badges. Craig Collins, Head of Education at Doncaster said: “For someone who doesn’t particularly like education he has gone from strength to strength and achieved some great qualifications for life.”

Alfie Perry | Hull City FC

Versatile Tigers midfielder Alfie Perry has really shone since starting his apprenticeship last year, especially educationally. Alfie began the programme needing to complete his English Functional Skills and has since achieved that feat. He’s also already well on-course to complete his SEP portfolio and his work is considered to be “high quality.”

BTEC wise, Alfie is also making great strides and continues to work above and beyond his expected targets. His BTEC tutor said: “Since the turn of the year, Alfie has made amazing strides with his BTEC work which is well-structured, and thoroughly presented. Every week during Alfie’s education sessions he gives his all and fully commits to each task. His ability to use his initiative and get straight on with his work is a great example for all others in the room. He takes immense pride in his work, and this is great to see. Beyond his academic achievements, Alfie’s attendance record is impeccable, rarely missing a session and consistently engaging with the learning process.”

Head of Education, Dean Jennings, added: “He should be extremely proud of his achievements to date and everyone at the Academy are really pleased with the progress he is making, especially during his education sessions.”

Seb Stacey | MK Dons

MK Dons shot stopper Seb Stacey has been described as an “outstanding apprentice” who always completes all of his work ahead of schedule and to a very high level. In his BTEC Extended Diploma he is working towards an impressive D*D*D* (triple distinction star grade) and is said to set the tone for the rest of the group when it comes to work in the classroom.

Outside of the classroom, Seb is also making terrific progress. His LFE Regional Officer, Gavin Willacy said: “He’s lived away from home and been a mature and positive influence. A goalkeeper who has trained regularly with the first team, been on loan to both St Neots and Biggleswade Town in non league and has earned a professional contract.”

Dan Carter | Leyton Orient

“That’s easy, Dan Carter” were the words of David Bass, Head of Education at Leyton Orient when asked who he’d like to nominate for the 11.

Dan Carter has been described as an “intelligent, well-spoken and respectful young man” who listens intently and reflects on his experiences to make the gradual changes to improve his performance. The Orient midfielder has excelled both on and off the pitch. In the classroom, he has achieved a distinction grade in every single BTEC assignment so far and is close to completing his SEP portfolio. On the pitch, Dan has become an integral member of the U18s squad and has played a huge part in their impressive turn of form since the beginning of the year. He also recently featured in The Standard newspaper where he was recognised as one of London’s top 50 Academy stars.

Upon his nomination, Christian Davies, Head of Player Care at Leyton Orient said: “Dan works hard, listens well and can be relied upon to give his best with most things he undertakes. Quietly, he gets on with his business with little fuss and he’s a solid and dependable character amongst the first years.”

His LFE Regional Officer, Simon Dwight, added: “Dan had a rocky start to his apprenticeship with a toe injury which required surgery, but focused himself on the rehab (physical and psychological) alongside his BTEC qualification and SEP portfolio building, as well as being ready to return to play as soon as he was fit. From there he has gradually made improvements that have seen him a part of a highly successful U18 team since Christmas, and a first appearance for the U23’s V Brentford.

Jake Leahy | QPR

Jake Leahy is said to be a “highly consistent and driven performer both on and off the pitch. In the classroom, Jake has been studying for an A Level in Business Studies and is aiming for a high grade having shown excellent knowledge of the subject and has displayed a fantastic attitude and attendance. He is also on course to complete his BTEC Diploma to a D*D* (double distinction star) grade. He has progressed from the U18s to the Elite Development Squad and has earned himself a professional deal. His LFE Regional Officer Simon Dwight describes him as a “highly driven and engaging young man with a bright future.”

Ernie Weaver | Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday’s Ernie Weaver has been described by his A Level tutor Kaz Copeman as “the best student she has ever had.” She went onto say: “Ernie’s attitude is perfect. I can’t fault him in any way shape or form. Ernie continues work exceptionally hard, he is always engaged in live lessons and makes invaluable contributions that benefit his peers too.

“Ernie is a natural in this subject. He grasps and understands a variety of business concepts and theories easily and quickly. However, he doesn’t just stop there. I feel that his real strengths lie in his attitude to learning where he always strives to do better and to be able to apply his learnings in the exam-style or past exam questions. When he receives the marked scripts, he goes over and learns from his mistakes. He is never complacent which is I think is Ernie’s biggest strength.”

Football wise, Andy Sharp, Lead PDP Coach added: “Ernie had a long layout with injury which has meant a long and challenging period of work for Ernie. However, Ernie remained positive throughout, has overcome injury and has returned positively to pre-injury physical condition and is now making an impact on the pitch.”

Reuben Wyatt | Northampton Town

Cobblers midfielder Reuben Wyatt was recently named League One LFE Apprentice of the Season at April’s EFL Awards, so it’s no surprise to see the second-year apprentice selected for the 11.

Head of Education at Northampton Town, Pete Stephenson, gave LFE a detailed break down of Reuben’s progress this year. “Reuben has continued to apply himself enthusiastically in all areas of his apprenticeship. After completing his SEP EPA and achieving a distinction prior to Christmas, he has continued to apply himself to his BTEC education and after starting on the Diploma in his first-year, he is now well on track to hit a triple D* Extended Diploma grade at the end of his scholarship. Reuben is a very personable character that takes a really active interest in all things that are put in front of him and he is always prepared to ask questions to help him understand and learn more about different things he comes across. He represents the football club brilliantly to all the external guests we have in.

“On the pitch, Reuben has been on a work experience loan since just before Christmas and has established himself in the starting XI at his loan club (AFC Rushden and Diamonds), scoring his first goal for the club recently and getting great feedback for how he has applied himself, becoming a bit of a fans favourite despite the team going through a difficult run. He has still come back to play some Youth Team games during this period and every time he has, he shows the same sort of attitude and enthusiasm no matter the level he is playing at. He also continues to have opportunities to train with the 1st team squad whilst on his work experience loan. As he approaches the end of his scholarship, he continues to maintain the level of enthusiasm and dedication that he has shown throughout the time he has been full time.”

George Hoddle | Cambridge United

Us midfielder George Hoddle has enjoyed a very successful year. On the pitch, George has found himself involved with the first team on occasions and has also earned a professional contract.

Away from the pitch, Harsh Joshi, Head of Education at the Club is full of praise for George. “George’s dedication to his studies is evident in his SEP and BTEC results, as he consistently produces high-quality work and has achieved impressive grades. Despite the demands of his busy schedule, he has managed to balance all his football commitments and excel in his academics.

“Furthermore, George’s positive attitude towards his learning and personal development is truly commendable. He approaches each task with enthusiasm and determination, constantly striving to improve and challenge himself further. His dedication to his education sets a great example for his peers and showcases his strong work ethic.

“Overall, George is a dedicated and hardworking scholar who is committed to his academic success. His exceptional performances on the pitch and positive attitude off the pitch makes him a standout scholar, and I have no doubt that he will continue to achieve great things in the many seasons on and off the pitch.”

Claude Kayibanda | Luton Town

Hatters defender Claude Kayibanda has been described by his LFE Regional Officer Gavin Willacy as an “outstanding apprentice.” Claude lives away from home but despite this has shown excellent maturity across all aspects of his apprenticeship. He is said to be a positive influence within the group and has worked extremely hard this year on and off the pitch. In the classroom he is a D*D* (double distinction star) student and is also undertaking an A Level. Football wise, Claude has turned out for the Club’s U21s side regularly and is seen as a versatile asset to the squad having played in many different positions. He’s also just earned himself a one-year professional contract.

Byron Pendleton | Birmingham City

Byron Pendleton is an apprentice who is performing at a high level in all aspects of his apprenticeship. Firstly, his initial educational data show his target grades as PP (pass pass) but Byron is now well on course to achieved DD (double distinction) which is a significant uplift. He has also achieved a distinction in all three areas of his SEP programme.

On the pitch, the full-back was the first apprentice to be offered a professional contract back in October 2023 after becoming a regular for the Blues’ U21 side.

Byron has also shown real maturity and humility by being heavily involved in the Club’s ‘Citizenship’ programme. He regularly attends local primary schools to support an initiative called ‘buddy reading’, leads after school football coaching sessions and also visits a local hospice to support residents and their families.

Head of Education, Tim Smith described Byron as “a thoroughly respectful, hardworking and committed individual who represents himself with the highest standards every time he is in the Academy building.”

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