BURTON Albion can confirm that seven first-year scholars will join our Academy’s Professional Development side for the 2021/22 season.
Last season was an historic one for our Academy, with Ciaran Gilligan the latest graduate from our youth ranks to break into the first team and four more graduates, Luke Redfern, Thierry Latty-Fairweather, Ben McLean and Dan Moore given their first professional deals this summer.
Our youth team also reached the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup last season for the first time in our history, as well as being the last Category Three side remaining in the competition at that stage.
The following players will make the step up as first-year scholars:
Finn, the son of former Brewers midfielder Rory and brother of Manchester City striker Liam, plays centre-back and has been with our Academy for six months, joining following his release from Derby County.
“I’m looking forward to getting going in the league,” said Delap.
“I just love to play - it doesn’t matter what league, what level, I just want to play football.”
Cassiun is a forward, who describes himself as a good hold-up player who likes to get in behind the backline and score goals.
“I’ve been with Burton Albion since I was 13 or 14, I’ve been here a few years and I know the staff and lads well,” said Langfield.
Oakley describes himself as an energetic box-to-box midfielder.
“I’ve been part of Burton Albion for around a year,” said Hazell. “The atmosphere within the club is great with great players and staff. I really enjoy and have lots of pride when playing in a Burton Albion shirt representing the club.”
Ben plays either right-back or right-wing, having been in the Academy system for a year.
“I’m an aggressive player, fast-paced and I like to get at people,” said Maginness.
“It’s been a good year and I’m really excited and looking forward to the new season.”
Drew plays as a left-sided wing-back, making overlapping runs and helping with the attack while defending.
He has been with the Academy for two years.
“I’ve got pace and love to get a cross in, and when I get a chance to shoot, have a shot,” said Robinson.
“It’s good seeing how the young players here grow up (into the first-team)and seeing how they have their abilities, how they play the game.”
Joe is a right-winger who enjoys getting on the ball and driving at people, having been with the Academy since the U14s.
“I’m skilful and my pace is one of my main strengths,” said Nyahwema.
“It’s a nice group here, very encouraging.”
Tristan can play on the wing or as a No 10 and is the newest of the scholars to join the club.
“I like fast one-two touch football, not taking too many touches, I like dribbling 1v1 and being creative,” said Bennett.
“I’m the newest of the players here - I was on trial for six months and got in not long ago, and I’m really excited.”
These seven players will join second-years Greg Lewis, Ben Radcliffe, Max Raine, Charlie Williams, James Matthews, John-Joe Power, Tommy Hill, Jakub Niemczyk, Braedan Noon-Brandy, Callum Niven, Dan Moore and Huw Emery in our youth team this season.
“We saw last year what a fantastic year it was for our youth team and further evidence of that pathway to the first team with the emergence of Ciaran, and the young lads being offered professional terms,” said Academy Manager Dan Robinson.
“Some of these lads have been with us for a few years, others for less time but we feel confident that this is a good group of lads.
“We will give them every opportunity we can to succeed and we’re excited to see how they grasp this opportunity.”
Dave Freeman, Youth Development Phase Lead Coach, said: “These boys have been in with us various lengths of time. Cassian has been with us since U14s, Joe and Drew around the same time while Finn, Tristan, Oakley and Ben came in a bit later.
“We’re really excited about all seven of them in terms of what that looks like for them going forward.
“They’re confident boys and from what we understand they’ve done really well in their academic work, and we support that as Academy. We’re about developing better players and people - we know how precarious that journey is so preparing them for life after Burton Albion is important.
“They’re good lads to have in and around the pitch and they’ll be good additions to the club.”