16:42 22nd April 2013
. . . Academy deals for eight youngsters
Swansea City has offered six of its junior players Academy scholarships for next season.
Jordan Sherman, Keston Davies, Dylan Thomas, Owain Jones, Cai Owens and Kyle Copp have all been offered two-year Youth scholarships with the club.
All six boys are from the Swansea area and make the step up from the club’s Under-16 squad.
Stephen Fallon, a winger from Belfast, and Cameron Gilchrist, a centre-half from Leicester, have also been offered first-year scholarships.
With the Academy set-up working more closely with Kristian O’Leary’s Under-21 squad, the club has opted to increase its number of Under-18 scholars for next season.
“A lot of the Youth boys are playing regularly with the Under-21s these days, which has sometimes left us a bit short of numbers for the Under-18 fixtures,’’ explained Academy manager Tony Pennock.
“It’s important we keep strengthening and developing our Academy structure and it’s especially pleasing to see six local boys come through to join the scholarship set-up.
“It’s an exciting time for them, but they all know that there is plenty of hard work ahead of them.’’
The club’s junior players have also started benefiting from the extra facilities on offer at the club’s new training ground at RTB Landore.
All the club’s age groups started training at the impressive facility for the first time this week, with the complex nearing completion.
“It was great for the boys to sample the new facilities,’’ added Pennock. “The feedback we received from the players, parents and coaches was excellent.’’
It’s been a busy few days for the club’s youngsters after first-year pros Kurtis March, James Loveridge and Henry Jones were all offered new one-year deals.
March (19), Loveridge (18) and Jones (19), all local products, signed for the club last summer after coming through the Youth ranks and have figured regularly for the club’s Under-21 Development squad this season.
Four of the club’s scholars - goalkeeper Oliver Davies (Neath), Liam Shephard (Pentre), Sam Evans (Fforestfach) and Welsh qualified Alex Bray (Wiltshire) - have also been offered their first one-year professional contracts at the Liberty Stadium after impressing in the Youth set-up this season.
The offers come on the back of a two-year deal signed by 18-year-old Josh Sheehan (Pembrey) in November and means five out of seven of the club’s second-year apprentices will get the chance to impress at senior level next season.