New group of young players to start full-time careers with Brentford.A group of 12 players have been offered scholarships by Brentford Football Club.
Sean Bird, Zachary Birse, Josh Bohui, Luke Dunn, Kingsley Eshun, Julius Fenn-Evans, Juan Pablo Gonzalez Valasco, Cameron Greaves, George Harmes, Giovanni McGregor, Danny Parish and Nik Tavares will start as full-time footballers this summer.
They will become part of Brentford’s successful Youth Team set-up and, at the end of their two-year scholarships, will be aiming to win their first professional contracts.
Many of the names on the list will already be known to Brentford fans.
Josh has been involved in the England Under-16 squad this season while Julius has played for Wales at Under-16 level.
Ten of the 12 have played in Brentford’s Youth Team this season while Josh and Giovanni have played for the Development Squad in the Under-21 Professional Development League in the past few weeks.
Nik, Luke, Juan Pablo, Josh, Julius and Kingsley were in the Brentford team that finished third in the Junior Section at the prestigious Milk Cup in Northern Ireland last summer and 11 of the 12 were involved when The Bees lost 2-1 to Barcelona in a friendly earlier this season.
Ose Aibangee, Brentford FC Academy Director, said: “This is another very strong group of players that will join us full-time at the start of next season.
“We have offered 12 players scholarships, which is more than we have done in recent years, and we would not have done that unless we believed they could take the next step.
“These lads have worked hard for a number of years to get to this stage and they deserve their scholarships.
“But they are well aware this is just one step on a long road and they will have to work very hard over the next two years to become professionals.
“The job of the Academy is to produce First Team footballers.
“The first step for these boys is to play to a high standard in the Youth Team and continue to progress in all they do on and off the pitch.
“I hope we will see many of these players kick on over the next two years.”
Goalkeeper Cameron has played four Youth Team games this season while defender Nik has played once.
Luke, who can play at left back or on the wing, has played one Youth Team game while central midfield pair Giovanni and George have played three and two respectively.
There are four strikers in the intake this season.
Kingsley started for Brentford in the FA Youth Cup at Hull City and has played eight Under-18 games in total this term, scoring twice.
Josh has also scored two Youth Team goals this term, in 12 appearances, while Danny, who scored against Barcelona, has hit the net once in six Under-18 games.
Julius has played five Youth Team games while defenders Sean and Zachary and attacking midfield player Juan Pablo are waiting to make their debuts at that level.
Cameron and Giovanni were in the squad for the Under-18 Professional Development League Two Play-Off Semi-Final against Huddersfield Town yesterday, Monday April 27.
The 12 will join the existing scholars – Jordan Carey, Tom Roberts, Romayn Pennant, Seth Owens, Chris Mepham, Kyjuon Marsh-Brown, Reece Cole, Anthony Guppy, Jeremiah Kamanzi and Courtney Austin – in the Youth Team group next season.
Ose added: “We have a good mix of players in the group. “Cameron has performed well at Youth Team level already and there will be strong competition for the goalkeeper position with Jordan and Tom already with us.
“Nik, Sean and Zachary will add to our defensive options.
“Nik is a real leader and already is a player you can rely on to help others around him while Sean is comfortable either at full back or centre half and likes to get forward.
“Zachary is technically very good and will help us maintain a philosophy of playing out from defence.
“Giovanni is a midfield player with great energy, he covers the ground well and links to play.
“George is a box-to-box midfield player with a fine left foot and passing range who has an impact at both ends of the pitch and Juan Pablo is a creative player with an eye to unlock a defence, creating chances for himself and others.
“Luke has played for the Youth Team at left back but at younger age groups has played further forward, he is a direct player who likes to attack and run at players.
“Kingsley is a powerful striker and has experience of the FA Youth Cup already, which will stand him in good stead.
“Josh can play wide or through the middle and impressed the England coaches with his ability while Julius has made an impact for Wales as a striker with great technical ability who can provide a link between the midfield and the forward line.
“Danny will have memories of scoring against Barcelona and he has pace to excite.
“I believe we will see these lads progressing over the next two years and I hope they are names all our fans will recognise in the coming years.”