From the Academy - Terry Westley


As ever, it's been a busy a week for everyone at the Academy. Our U18s finished the league season with an impressive 4-0 win over Reading at Rush Green. I thought the team put in a very solid performance, both individually and collectively.

Again, we fielded another young team, which included the likes of Vashon Neufville, Reece Oxford and Jahmal Hector-Ingram. We are now waiting on the last set of fixtures to be played before we know who we’ll be up against in the play-offs.

Obviously, we’d love to finish in the top four and pit ourselves against the best sides from the northern division, however, we know whoever we play will be tough, and we’re looking forward to the challenge.

Scholars selected

We have made our selection for scholars for next year which include Oxford, Powell, Neufville, Scully and Tunji Akinola. We've also offered Jake Eggleton, a very exciting right-back, the option of doing his A-Levels while continuing to be a full-time player.

It is a very strong group of players with several internationals in there. They have all played above their age in U18s and even for the U21s. They are all still young and we have to be patient, but we hope one day they'll have an impact on the first team.

As for the U21s, they have not had a league game for a while but we have kept them busy, including a friendly against Dagenham & Redbridge. It was a great opportunity for a number of younger players to demonstrate what they can do, and against a side made of predominantly professional players, I thought they played very well.

Futsal Champions

I would just like to finish by congratulating our U11s for being crowned champions at the National Premier League Futsal finals in Leeds. Having qualified from the regional section we beat Everton 3-2 in the final, having beaten Chelsea 8-1 and Newcastle 12-0 along the way.

We took a squad of nine for the two-day tournament with Junior Robinson, who scored seven goals from defence, nominated for Player of the Tournament. It was a fantastic achievement for the boys, so well done to them and coaches Dave Johnson and Del Robinson.    

Schoolboy Trips

Before the end of the season, our schoolboys are competing in a number of international tournaments across Europe and further afield.

These tournaments are great for the players, as they not only give the opportunity to play against foreign teams, but also the experience of travelling abroad.

Travelling is an important part of football, and increasingly so, so the quicker the players learn how to cope with demands, the better they’ll do in the long run. It is our job at the Academy to equip the boys with a range of experiences, and add as many strings to their bow as possible.

The tournaments we have coming up are in:

  • Al Ain, UAE Tournament.
  • Swiss Cup, Zurich
  • Rimini Cup, Germany
  • La Bredy Cup, Bordeaux, France
  • KB Foot Paris, France
  • RIS Orangis Cup, near Paris, France
  • 7e International, Oldenzaal, Netherlands
  • Euro Crossing Tournament, Brussels.
Each tournament provides the players an excellent opportunity to develop, learn and grow, together and individually. We also hope they enjoy the experiences, as these tournaments are exciting, special events.

All the best,