LFE takes a closer look at the players to make ‘The 11’ in October 2018 and why they’ve been included:
Luke Rowe (Coventry City)
Sky Blues Under-18s captain Luke has led by example this year both on and off the pitch.
The 17-year-old was the only nomination made by the youth squad to be elected as a ‘head boy’ and has displayed tremendous professionalism to comfortably take on the additional responsibility.
“Luke has demonstrated his leadership abilities, not just on the football pitch, but also around the building,” LFE Regional Officer Claire Wilberforce-Marsh said. “He can be counted on to push his teammates forward and has impressed everyone with his commitment and dedication.
“I cannot underestimate how impressed I am with his attitude across all of the elements of the programme and seeing him thrive in these new roles is a tremendous testament to his character.”
Matt O’Riley (Fulham)
Midfielder Matt was thrust into senior football immediately after starting his apprenticeship last season, with two appearances in the Carabao Cup in August as a 16-year-old. He added another cup outing to his tally last month, featuring off the bench in a 3-1 win away to Millwall.
Despite his first-team involvement and receiving international recognition, the England Under-18 international is studying for the Extended Diploma and has worked well to successfully juggle all football commitments alongside his qualification.
In addition, the highly-rated youngster has also used his time to conduct some community work with the club.
Regional Officer Tom Palmer said: “Matt recently took part in a youth team visit to the Christopher’s Children’s Hospice in Guildford, where the boys took part in a family fun day, running a ‘Beat the Goalie’ competition and spending the day with children and their families who are in the care of the hospice.
“Matt led on the presentation of a gift from the club to the hospice and gave an excellent speech.”
Hector Kyprianou (Leyton Orient)
Hector enjoyed an impressive first year as an apprentice, with his goals from midfield contributing to Orient’s Southern Merit League Two triumph.
The 17-year-old continued that form into pre-season, where he was promoted into the first-team set-up and handed some game time by manager Justin Edinburgh.
He has since gone out on loan to Harlow Town to gain experience of men’s football before returning to be a fulcrum of the Under-18s team in the EFL Youth Alliance South East division, while also maintaining his discipline in the classroom.
Regional Officer Gavin Willacy said: “Hector has impressed all the staff at Leyton Orient and Waltham Forest College with his attitude to learning and desire to improve on and off the field.”
Max Culverwell (Notts County)
Goalkeeper Max has experienced a tremendous turnaround over the course of his apprenticeship so far having initially struggled to integrate with the Under-18s group at Notts County.
The second-year apprentice is a high achiever in the classroom, currently attaining D*D*D* grades and has replicated that success on the pitch with significant involvement in the first-team.
The 17-year-old stopper first appeared on the bench at the Riverside Stadium against Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup. Despite not yet making his senior bow, Max has since been included in the matchday squad for two Checkatrade Trophy fixtures and five Sky Bet League Two matches, while he continues to impress in the youth side.
Regional Officer Ian King said: “Max has been a model apprentice having shown great dedication academically in addition to his playing development and deserves recognition for his efforts in all aspects of the programme.”
Frazer Garner (Peterborough United)
Frazer is proving to be a strong performer as a player and student having been involved with the Under-23s on several occasions this season, as well as excelling on the Extended Diploma.
Posh Academy Manager Nick Sheppard told LFE: “Frazer has been so committed to his education that he has almost already finished the NVQ, with only a couple of units left to complete. His behaviour and application in the classroom has been first class.
“He applies himself to training and games and has performed at a high level so far this season. This has certainly been aided by Frazer’s attitude over the summer, where he was a regular at the training ground doing extra work to make sure he was in good condition when returning to pre-season.
“Frazer had an unfortunate time with injuries that kept him out of some of pre-season. While doing his rehab, despite a slight relapse, he approached it positively every day and did everything he could to ensure he was back on the pitch in a timely manner.”
Tyrone Lewthwaite (Rotherham United)
Tyrone moved up North to start his apprenticeship with Rotherham having been released by Watford and has slotted in seamlessly, finding the net with regularity in the youth team.
The prolific striker earned international recognition shortly after joining the Millers after being called up to Northern Ireland’s Under-19 squad and showcased his goalscoring prowess in September with a hat-trick in a 4-1 win against Slovakia.
Regional Officer Ian King said: “Tyrone has scored plenty of goals in the youth team which led to him getting a spot on the first-team bench for Championship games against Stoke, Bristol City and Birmingham.
“In addition to his promising performances on the pitch, Tyrone is currently working at D*D level, surpassing his Distinction/Merit target, making him a positive example to the rest of the group.”
Isaac Rice (Sheffield Wednesday)
Isaac has led by example as Wednesday’s Under-18s skipper, showing a terrific attitude on the pitch and in the classroom that has led to great success in all aspects of his apprenticeship.
The left-sided centre-half featured in Jos Luhukay’s matchday squad for the televised Yorkshire derby against Leeds United having already impressed in the Under-18 and Under-23 sides.
“Isaac sets high standards at the club on and off the pitch,” Owls Head of Education & Welfare Dan Potts told LFE. “He has a mature approach to his studies and has achieved Distinction in all but one of his assignments so far on the Extended Diploma, while he has almost completed the NVQ and coaching ahead of schedule, too.
“Isaac is reliable and a pleasure to have in the class. He’s a good person, works hard and has also formed a great relationship with his digs parents.”
Arthur Iontton (Stevenage)
Having made his debut at the end of last season in a 3-1 Sky Bet League Two victory over Exeter City, midfielder Arthur has signed his first professional contract and earned more outings this term under boss Dino Maamria.
The second-year apprentice trains every day with the first-team as well as playing an important role for the Under-18s, who remain unbeaten in the EFL Youth Alliance South East.
Regional Officer Gavin Willacy added: “Arthur has not let his playing success affect his education. He is always in class and is doing extremely well on the Extended Diploma at Marriotts School, while setting an excellent example to all other apprentices with his attitude and behaviour.”
Sonny Haynes (Swindon Town)
Sonny suffered quite a culture shock when starting the season following the physical jump between Under-16s to Under-18s, but the first-year apprentice has shown a fantastic attitude by putting in extra work in order to catch up with the group.
Swindon Head of Education Bryan Smith told LFE: “He now goes in early at his own request on Tuesday and Thursday to do ‘Hypertrophy’ training with the Strength & Conditioning staff.
“Having also dealt with some personal issues, Sonny has been volunteering in the evenings and stays in Swindon at weekends to coach in the STFC Academy. He is an upbeat, lively character and deserves the praise for overcoming barriers to his early footballing career.”
Nick Long (Tranmere Rovers)
Seventeen-year-old Nick has displayed great maturity over the summer by making a conscious decision to be more of a role model and work hard to improve himself on and off the pitch.
He is developing into a leader and has helped the new intake of apprentices by giving advice on how to approach all aspects of the apprenticeship. Nick has shown dedication to achieve the higher grade criteria for his work in college, with all these positive behaviours leading to involvement in the first-team.
Tranmere Academy manager Andy Parkinson told LFE: “Nick has shown significant development recently and has matured both on the pitch and off it, becoming a natural leader who embraces responsibility.
“His performances have been of a consistently good standard and he has set high standards in his application to training and his discipline and professionalism.”
Gabriel Rogers (Yeovil Town)
Second-year apprentice Gabriel has established himself as a highly-rated prospect at Yeovil after a string of promising performances in the senior side during pre-season.
Having been awarded a first-team number this summer, the 17-year-old has appeared in three competitions this season, making his debut in the Carabao Cup against Aston Villa, featuring in the Checkatrade Trophy at Bristol Rovers and earning a Sky Bet League Two bow in the latter stages of a 6-0 win against Newport County.
Regional Officer Roger Gibbins said: “Gabs has forced his way into the first-team after an impressive pre-season and is now training with them on a regular basis.
“Despite this, he is continuing with his education, hitting his targets and showing an excellent all-round attitude.”