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[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, Fraser 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
Antoni is Polish and from Lowestoft. He has been with the academy since the start of the 2018/2019 season.

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
Ben is an athletic player who has great acceleration and pace. He is
able to affect play in both boxes, in and out of possession.

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
Elkan has a physical presence and looks to patrol the defensive unit. He is calm and composed in possession but isn't afraid to defend when necessary.

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
Brooklyn is a tall and powerful centre-back. He is comfortable in
possession of the ball and has a great range of passing.

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.

Fraser Alexander - centre midfield
Fraser is a consistent performer with a good tactical understanding of the game. He is calm and relaxed in possession and has great ability with his feet, specifically his passing range.

Out of possession, Fraser enjoys breaking up the opposition play and regaining possession for us to start to build attacks.

Alfie Cutbush - centre midfield
Alfie is an intelligent footballer that reads the game very well, both
in and out of possession.

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
Creative midfield player. Able to play in a number of positions
depending upon the formation. Has an eye for a pass and can open up defences with his quality.

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
Northern Ireland youth international from Linfield FC, Cameron was
scouted playing in the Super Cup
where he captained the winners County Antrim, beating Glasgow Rangers in the final. He also helped Northern Ireland win this season's Victory Shield.

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
Harley is a hard-working attacking midfielder that shows a good
understanding of the roles and responsibilities both in and out of

He loves to dribble with the ball, committing opposition
defenders and delivering an end product. Harley is another player that has been involved with the U18s this season, including being involved in the FA Youth Cup run.

Nyan Mesuria - wide midfield/striker
Nyan is an exciting player to watch in possession and he enjoys
committing defenders with the ball at his feet.

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
Zanda is technically a very good footballer with a good understanding and knowledge of playing either as a striker, or within the midfield unit.

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
Ola has some very good athletic attributes which help him when playing, he is quick and agile. He shows a desire, work-rate and commitment to score goals, especially in and around the box.

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
Michael is a powerful centre-forward. He has an eye for goal and is also able to link the play and bring others into the game. He is a tenacious player that likes to get around the pitch well, hassling defenders.

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, 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.

Photo: ITFC

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Northstander_Blue added 18:13 - Mar 29
Already seen 2 or 3 of them play this season the future of itfc is looking good

TownOnTheUp added 18:16 - Mar 29
Can't do worse than the last Cameron Stewart we had! Good luck to all of them, let's hope they can become good pros, and that there's a gem in there somewhere.

BlueandTruesince82 added 18:19 - Mar 29
Cameron Stewart 🙈

WebbyWebster added 18:20 - Mar 29
Good mates with Ola Bello, these boys constantly pick up good results against strong opposition, future is indeed bright

Upthetown1970 added 18:35 - Mar 29
Seen some of these in u18 matches this season. Gibbs, Wyss, Alexander all done very well in those matches they played. There are some gems in this bunch very exciting. Good luck lads.

CanadianBlue added 18:51 - Mar 29
No write up on the players this year? Aw.

Congratulations to the lads, looking forward to seeing their progress over the years.

JohnyJohnson added 19:09 - Mar 29
Is Alfie Cutbush Brazilian? 🤔👙

FAcup78 added 19:26 - Mar 29
Best of luck to all the new scholars. I've been a fan of Liam Gibbs since the first time I watched him play for the u18's. This lad is a real talent. TownOnTheUp you are hoping for gem look no further than this lad. Can't wait to see how he and the others develop.

bluemike1969 added 20:01 - Mar 29
Good luck to another St benedicts student following in the footsteps of Tris Nydham. Best of luck to you Elkan, don't forget to come back to see us once you've finished your GCSEs

ColchesterBlue1985 added 22:09 - Mar 29
Good luck to all of the boys espicially another bennys student, I went to that school and the lad is in my daughters class.

Ericgates12 added 06:40 - Mar 30
Welcome to the club. Hope to see you develop into first team players. The hard work starts now. Good luck

bluemike1969 added 12:25 - Mar 30
Colchesterblue.... Then I must know your daughter also as I'm a support worker at bennys.

Millsey added 12:01 - Apr 3

PortmanTerrorist added 14:09 - Apr 3
I didnt go to Bennys.

COY(young)Bs anyway!

dirtydingusmagee added 14:10 - Apr 3
nice suit's ,some of them even fit .

runningout added 14:47 - Apr 3
stick em in first team now

FAcup78 added 11:00 - Apr 4
Talking to some of the academy staff this new intake is full of exciting youngsters. Lots of excitement ahead. Good luck lads.

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