ELEVEN young Potters put pen-to-paper on Friday afternoon as Stoke City Football Club welcomed its new intake of scholars for the upcoming season.
The youngsters, along with their proud families filled the Sir Stanley Matthews Lounge at the Britannia Stadium where they were welcomed by the Club’s Chief Executive Tony Scholes and Academy Director Dave Wright.
Each player then penned two-year scholarship forms as they prepare to continue their development on a full time basis at the Club’s Category One Academy.
Eight of the 11 youngsters have been with the Academy for at least two years, whilst the Club’s desire to nurture the best talent in Stoke-on-Trent and the surrounding areas has been continued with the vast majority recruited from within an hour’s radius of the Britannia Stadium.
The players will link-up with John Perkins’ Under-18s squad at the beginning of the week for pre-season training and a full list of those who will join the current group of nine second-year scholars can be seen below:
Chris Marques – A 16-year-old goalkeeper who measures in at 6ft 2in and arrives from Sydney, Australia.
Josh Williams – A 16-year-old central defender who joins the Potters after being released by Premier League rivals Southampton.
Toby Wells – A 16-year-old versatile and adventurous defender from Loughborough who is entering his four year with the Club.
Theo Brierley – A 16-year-old reliable defender/midfielder/striker who joined the Club at the age of 11.
Liam Smith – A 16-year-old defender/midfielder who arrived at the Club three years ago and has since been involved with the Welsh national youth set-up.
Daniel Jarvis – A 16-year-old central midfielder from Lichfield who is entering his fourth season with the Potters.
Oliver Shenton – A 16-year-old box-to-box midfielder from Blythe Bridge who joined the Club aged six.
Freddy Yao – A 16-year-old midfielder who began his career with the Potters two years ago from Fulham.
Kyren Hamilton –A 16-year-old tricky winger from Birmingham who arrived at the Club four years ago.
Thomas Shepherd – A 16-year-old striker from Knutsford who has been with Potters for the past two years and made his Wales Under-17 debut last season.
Julien Ngoy – A 16-year-old striker who arrives from Belgium following a successful trial with the Club last season. (subject to international clearance)