The new crop of first year u18s scholars reported back to the academy last week and are looking forward to the new season.
Having all just completed their GCSE exams, they can take their mind off their studies for a short while as they get back into training again in order to start their two-year youth team scholarship contracts.
Academy PDP Lead Coach Mick Ede thinks that the new group is an interesting blend that he hopes will bond together well. “We have a mix of young lads this year.” He said.
“Whilst a number of them have come up through our academy age groups, there are a few new signings that we have brought in as well.”
“We try our utmost at the Academy to develop a strong work ethic towards both their game and their studies, all in an environment which is caring and supportive” Mick added.
“All these lads seem to recognise this and we believe that this bodes well for their futures.”
Tom Gregors - Goalkeeper: A local lad who has always been a Vale supporter, Tom lives in Baddeley Green and joined the Academy last December after a spell with Burton Albion.
Will Tams – Centre Back: Hails from Sneyd Green and used to follow Stoke, Will played for the Crewe Academy for some time and was offered opportunities at various other clubs before deciding on the Vale.
Luke Chambers – Midfielder: Northwich lad who is an avid Man City fan, Luke was scouted as an u13 and then joined the Vale Academy following a successful trial period.
Michael Lennon - Centre Back/Full Back: Michael comes from Congleton and is a West Ham fan like his London born father.
Micahel joined the Vale Academy Development Centre as an u11 year old and progressed through to the Academy shortly afterwards.
Kenniel Barrett – Right Back: A Birmingham lad who supports Spurs mainly because of his admiration for Harry Kane.
Kenniel surprisingly released by West Brom last season and had offers from numerous clubs but opted to choose the Vale after being impressed by the set up here.
Nelson Agho – Striker: Originally from Valencia, Nelson joined the Academy at U12 level. He became the youngest ever to play for the first team when he made his debut in the Checkatrade Trophy against Walsall last season and is now hungry for more opportunities with the senior squad.
Reece Robins – Midfielder: Although born in London Reece supports Liverpool. Reece was with Southampton for a number of years before deciding to leave for better opportunities. Following trials, he had offers from several League clubs before being attracted to the Vale by the positive and friendly environment.
Louis Lake – Centre Back: Louis comes from Cannock and is an Aston Villa supporter. The defender was released by Shrewsbury Academy at U13 level and was spotted playing for a team in his local area shortly afterwards. He joined the Vale Academy as an u14 after a successful trial period.
Thyler Bradbury – Midfielder: A Burslem lad and Vale supporter, Thyler originally joined the Academy at U9 level and was released at U12. He was later spotted playing for Kidsgrove Athletic and given another opportunity with the club and he is determined to prove that he’s got what it takes.
In a couple of weeks, the youth team is fortunate to be travelling to Madrid for a tournament and extended educational experience trip with the cost funded by the EFL and Erasmus Project.
Mick concluded: “This will not only give the youth team opportunity to play against a range of European opposition but it will enable the new lads to spend time together with rest of the players so that they can get to know each other and build that all-important team spirit.”