[Updated] New Academy Scholars Welcomed to Club
Wednesday, 3rd Apr 2019 11:09
Next season’s new intake of full-time scholars officially signed their academy contracts earlier today [Friday].
The 13 were welcomed to the club by manager Paul Lambert, skipper Luke Chambers as well as general manager of football operations and academy manager Lee O’Neill and U18s bosses Adem Atay and Kieron Dyer.
They and their parents were given a tour of Portman Road before having lunch in the Sir Bobby Robson Suite.
The new scholars will be introduced to fans at half-time during Saturday’s game against Hull City and will parade around the pitch with other Blues youngsters as part of a celebration of the academy’s work.
The 13 new players are: Antoni Bort, Ben Wyss, Elkan Baggott, Brooklyn Kabongolo, Frazer Alexander, Alfie Cutbush, Liam Gibbs, Cameron Stewart, Harley Curtis, Nyan Mesuria, Zanda Siziba, Ola Bello and Michael Bareck.
The biographies below first appeared in Saturday's match programme.
Antoni Bort - goalkeeper
He is right-footed and has a good range of passing and kicking as well as being agile and quick around his goal, with one of his biggest strengths being his shot stopping.
Ben Wyss - full-back
He loves to run and dribble with the ball in wide areas, delivering crosses to create attacking opportunities. He shows great potential to develop as a defender at the club moving forwards.
Elkan Baggott - centre-back
He is developing all of the time as a defender, is powerful and dynamic. Elkan will benefit greatly from the full-time programme, aiding his development over the next two years.
Brooklyn Kabongolo - centre-back
He is always smiling and happy but a committed and resolute defender on the field. He will develop further by being involved in the full-time programme.
Frazer Alexander - centre midfield
Out of possession, Frazer enjoys breaking up the opposition play and regaining possession for us to start to build attacks.
Alfie Cutbush - centre midfield
He is able to break up the opposition's play and convert into attacking opportunities. In possession, Alfie has a great variety and range of passing, being able to dictate the play with his vision for a forward pass.
Liam Gibbs - centre midfield
Technically very comfortable with the ball at his feet with good ball control, Liam shows good leadership and communication skills within the group. He has already had experience training and playing with the U18s this season.
Cameron Stewart - central defender/midfielder
He has impressed staff with his determined attitude and footballing ability. Cameron has an excellent range of passing and enjoys stepping into midfield with the ball.
He is strong in the tackle and aggressive in both boxes, with Town beating a number of clubs for his signature.
Harley Curtis - attacking midfield/striker
He loves to dribble with the ball, committing opposition
Nyan Mesuria - wide midfield/striker
In addition to his movement to create space for himself or others, he has contributed to the group being able to score a lot of goals this season. In the final third, Nyan always seems to be in the right place at the right time. A handy knack.
Zanda Siziba - midfield/wide striker
He can come short and link play but also has the ability to play off the shoulder and run defenders away to create space for others. Zanda also has the athletic attributes to beat and commit the
Ola Bello - centre/wide striker
He is an all action centre-forward who knows where the back of the net is. Out of possession he acts as the first line of defence, working the opposition defenders to win the ball back as high up the pitch as possible.
Michael Bareck - centre-forward
Zanda Siziba was previously with the Tottenham youth set-up and it's reported the Blues could also be keen on another Spurs youngster, Nigerian defender Jubril Okedina, if he is released at the end of the season.
According to AllNigeriaSoccer.com, Tottenham, with whom Blues academy head of coaching and player development Bryan Klug was once assistant academy manager, are yet to decide whether to hang on to Okedina with the Blues, Crystal Palace and Swansea all interested.
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