A Youth Round Up: The latest ins and outs at youth level
Author: Brian Knox. Published: 4 February 2016 at 8:20pm
Just a little update regarding a few “ins and outs” in the academy.
Brown’s contract does expire in the summer and another player who could be leaving is Raphael Spiegel. The Swiss shotstopper has always been third choice, essentially being backup to first Stephen Henderson, then Jussi Jaaskelainen and now Darren Randolph, and with Sam Howes showing incredible promise and Spiegel an overage player for the U21s – it is likely he will be on his way out of the club. With Howes already on a professional deal, it is likely that only one out of Clarke Bogard and Tim Brown will be retained to compete with him in the U21s, leaving Rihards Matrevics, Nathan Trott and whichever (if any) of the two current U16 goalkeepers Jake Leonard and Tyler Forde in the U18s.
Finally, regarding scholarships. Yes, I know I go on about this every column but I can confirm decisions should be made around the middle of February. March 1st is the deadline and I am told the club want to wait a little longer as there could be some U17 friendlies this month which will give those who haven’t played up yet a chance to impress. Some players have already been offered deals, but the only player definitely under contract for next season is summer signing Yiannis Constantinou, who joined from Tottenham. Interestingly, he has not made his U18 debut but I assume he will get his chance soon considering the U21 stiker situation. Although a few have been offered deals, I am not sure whether they have definitely accepted (though I am sure they will) and there of course, will be a few more considering the small intake this season and the vast majority of those (Reece Oxford, Vashon Neufville) should be U21 regulars next season anyway.
Thanks again for reading, and I should be back next time with more news regarding the future of our U16s.