BURTON Albion Academy graduates Ben Radcliffe and Jakub "Kuba" Niemczyk have put pen to paper on their first professional contracts with the club.
Both players have signed one-year deals and will be part of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s first team squad when they return for pre-season training on June 17.
Radcliffe is a versatile option but primarily plays at either centre-back or in centre midfield and posseses a good range of passing. He joined the Brewers Academy six seasons ago having previously playing for the Derby County youth setup.
Ben spent last season out on-loan with former Brewer John McGrath at Mickleover FC, recieving high praise, as well as picking up the Burton Albion Scholar of the Season Award at the club's end of season Awards Evening.
Niemczyk is a hard-working wide man and has been with the Brewers Academy for the past nine seasons. The youngster’s ability has also caught the eye at international level, with the youngster being invited to train with the Poland international setup in Warsaw.
Jakub has already made his first team debut for the Brewers in the Papa John’s Trophy away at Peterborough United in 2020, before spending part of last season out on-loan at Belper Town. Sadly his season ended with a serious injury but the youngster is set to be back training in the coming months ahead of the new season.
Albion manager Hasselbaink said: “We will continue to give the best possible pathway to our Academy players. We are willing to take them if they are good enough and that gives them hope and a chance to get into the first team.
“We have seen a few come through in the past and we want to keep that line going. They will get opportunities and then it’s up to them to take them.
“It’s up to them to turn their potential into reality and make their mark whenever they are given the chance.”
Head of Academy Dan Robinson, said: “It's fantastic for them both and they've both had such different journeys on their scholarships.
"Ben has done ever so well out on loan at Mickleover, scored five goals, played in multiple positions and really excelled in men's football, which has given him a good lift and push to get this contract.
"Jakub, in his first year, played for the first team under Jake Buxton although he's had a torrid time with two major injuries. He came back at Christmas from an ACL, went to Belper and performed really well at that level before breaking his fibia and tibia.
"It's been very difficult for Kuba but he's done more than enough to demonstrate to myself, the manager, Dino Maamria and the first team staff that he's (able) to go to the next level."
You can hear more from our new professionals and Dan Robinson later this week, including video interviews on iFollow Brewers. Congratulations to Ben and Kuba!