Newport County AFC are delighted to announce that nine new first-year scholars have signed deals with the club ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Last week Newport County AFC Academy held inductions both at Rodney Parade stadium and at the Academy training base for our newest scholar recruits.
9 players have been successful in their efforts to join the club and will begin the start of their 2-year scholarship at the club this week.
Academy Manager Damien Broad, 'We are all really pleased to introduce the boys to their scholarship at the club, many of them have been with the Academy for many years and this is testament to the work our YDP lead Ben Stait and his staff do with the players on a weekly basis.
"The new first years are joining a great group of second years and we feel the team has the potential to keep progressing. Over the last two seasons, we have had many scholars go on to make their first team debuts at the club, made history with two great FA Youth cup runs and we also saw three players sign professional deals with the club this summer.
"We've seen real growth at the Academy both on and off the pitch over this time and now it is down to the players to come in, meet these standards that have been set and continue to raise the bar even further.
"We believe the recruitment process around these players, which has been overseen by our Head of recruitment Jason Holmes, has covered, and taken into consideration what the club wants as a young Newport County AFC player.
"With the right work ethic, commitment, and sacrifice, it’s been shown that the opportunities are there for the players and they will continue to be provided by the manager and the club, if the players are meeting the required standards."
Ben Stait the lead YDP coach provided an update on the players joining the Scholarship programme.
Ben joined us late into his U16s year from Risca United and has adapted to academy life really well. A presence in the goal, Ben has gone from strength to strength in such a short period of time, which reflects his eagerness and determination to learn and further improve.
An energetic versatile player, Kyle brings an incredible work ethic to the team. Kyle has been at Newport County AFC since U10’s so it is fantastic to see somebody come through the pathway up to U18s.
A polite and well-mannered young man who can play centre back or central midfield, Undy based Evan first joined our Shadow Squad at U14, later joining the Academy and signing officially at U15.
Another product from our Shadow Squad, joining at U13s, Mallachi is quiet off the pitch but comes into his own when he is on it. Newport based, Mal joins our strong cohort of local players as a quick and explosive full back who thrives both defensively and offensively.
Another player who has come through the whole pathway from the Foundation Phase, joining the club at U11, receiving a pre-scholarship deal at the age of 13 and has already made appearances for the first team. Additionally, Sonny has received international recognition, representing Wales at regional, U15 and U17 level. Another Newport based player; Sonny adds to our local talent within the ranks.
A highly intelligent midfield player who enjoys getting on the ball in spaces to create chances. Caleb, having been with us from U14s and now as an U17 comes across from our Education Programme at Lliswerry High school. The programme has aided Calebs development, and he now begins his two-year scholarship after being on the programme for the last year.
Another successful story of our Shadow Squad, Kiban joined us at U15 and had to be patient with his opportunities with the Academy. Having produced impressive performances for the Shadow Squad he commenced to an Academy trial in the latter stages of U16s, in which he was deservedly successful. Kiban, an attacking and creative player brings a high level of technical ability to the team.
Bridgend based Jonah joined us at U15s having impressed at regional level for Wales, which led to international caps at U15 level. A tricky and quick winger, Jonah brings flair and excitement to the team with an elite mindset to achieve his goals.
Tom joins us from Swansea City, where he played much of his teenage years. Having also been a part of the international setup at Wales, Tom is a highly intelligent complete striker who not only brings goals but a huge abundance of technical ability and work ethic that supports the team.