Youth Exclusive: Three players to join the youth team!? 35 scouts watching out games
Author: Brian Knox. Published: 11 January 2016 at 5:00pm
First of all I’d like to start by saying I hope everyone had a brilliant Christmas and New Year. It’s strange to believe we’re already ten days into 2016 and with the transfer window going on there have been plenty of rumours flying around as we’ve been linked with a wide range of players. Of course, there’s not just transfers happening around the first team with the academy looking to sign three players this window as well as loan many out.
Of course, I’m sure many of you will know about Reece Brown. The 19 year old midfielder is on loan from Birmingham for the rest of the month after initially joining on a trial. He’s a very creative playmaker, with most Birmingham fans actually rating him higher than Demarai Gray, who departed for Leicester earlier in the week, yet cite his attitude as a major problem. He has struggled for appearances this season so has been allowed to train and play for the U21s, where he featured in the 2-0 win over Brighton on Monday (where he put in a terrific performance) and the first half of the 0-0 friendly against our partner club VVV Venlo on Thursday. His contract expires in the Summer so the club are exploring their options – either by agreeing a pre-contract for him to sign on July 1 which seems most likely at this current stage.
The other two are twins Jack and Paul McKay of Doncaster. Striker Jack and defender Paul are two of the most highly rated products of their academy and appeared in Thursday’s friendly against VVV Venlo, Jack leading the line throughout the game and Paul initially starting in defensive midfield before switching back to centre-back in the second half. Unfortunately I’m not too sure regarding whether they will be signed or not, but they have been invited to train with the club and they may play again for the U21s soon. As well as that the club are considering a move for the 21 year old Grays Athletic striker Dumebi Dumaka.
Going out, a number of players may be departing on a short-term basis. 35 scouts were in attendance on Monday’s 2-0 win over Brighton so it is likely a couple may leave out on loan. VVV Venlo were rumoured by Dutch media to be looking at Josh Cullen, who appears to be one of the more likely players to be loaned out. Elliot Lee has of course returned from his loan spell at Blackpool and he may seek to join another club, whilst Tim Brown has extended his loan at Chelmsford for another month. Stephen Hendrie, Doneil Henry and perhaps Leo Chambers could all do with a loan spell as well in my opinion, alongside Nathan Mavila, Moses Makasi and Amos Nasha with all of those players’ contracts expiring in the summer (aside from Cullen, Hendrie and Henry).
Finally, the final decision on which U16s will be offered a scholarship is likely to be made in February. March will also probably be the time where professional contracts are to be handed with the remaining second year scholars as the club starts to make a decision on the futures of many. Jordan Brown, Lee, Chambers, Mavila, Makasi, Nasha, Raphael Spiegel and Sam Westley are the professional whose contracts expire whilst Matt Carter, Oscar Borg, Ross Elsom, Noha Sylvestre, Clarke Bogard and Grady Diangana yet to sign professional terms.
Finally, the next games for the academy are both at home. On Wednesday night at 19:00 is the Premier League U21 Cup home game at Rush Green against Fulham, whilst on Saturday 16th December, whilst the U18s next face Aston Villa at home on Saturday 16th December at 12:30, Little Heath.