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Nine Scholars offered professional contracts at Griffin Park

21 April 2015

Academy graduates reaches double figures as more contracts offered

Nine more young players from Brentford’s successful Youth Team have been offered professional contracts, bringing the total graduating through the Club’s Academy in 2015 to ten.
Goalkeeper Nik Tzanev, defenders Audrius Laucys, Gradi Milenge and Tom Field and midfield players Zain Westbrooke and James Ferry have all been offered one-year professional contracts to be part of Brentford’s Development Squad from the start of next season.
Attackers Bradley Clayton, Seika Jatta and Courtney Senior have been offered two-year deals.
The nine join Herson Rodrigues Alves, who signed a contract until June 2016 earlier this year.
Makhosini Khanye and Daniel Webster have been released.
Audrius, James, Tom, Herson, Bradley, Seika and Courtney were part of the Brentford squad which won the Junior competition at the prestigious Milk Cup youth tournament in Northern Ireland in the summer of 2012.
They were also part of a team that beat Dutch giants AZ Alkmaar in a friendly last season and have helped Brentford finish second in the Under-18 Professional Development League Two South this term.
All ten have also played for Brentford’s Development Squad this season.
Ose Aibangee, Brentford FC Academy Director, said: “We have always had high hopes for this group of players.
“We knew their ability when they were in their early teens and they proved it at the Milk Cup.
“They have continued to show what they are capable of over the past few years, including a fine win in Alkmaar and their performances for both the Youth Team and Development Squad this season.
“They have been working towards becoming professional footballers and have now achieved that aim.
“They deserve their contracts and I offer them my congratulations.
“But they know that they have a long way to go.
“We believe there are players here capable of representing Brentford in the Sky Bet Championship.
“We would not have offered them contracts if we did not think that was the case.
“The standard at First Team level has been going up quickly and these players have to rise to that challenge.
“We will do all we can to help their development and I look forward to watching them improve over the next years.”
Goalkeeper Nik, 18, made his debut for New Zealand Under-20 earlier this month.
Like Bradley, he has been on a youth development contract, playing for The Bees while studying for his A Levels.
He has played 19 games for the Youth Team this season and two for the Development Squad and was named Youth Team Player of the Year.
Audrius, who can play at right back or centre back, has played 23 Youth Team games this season and two for the Development Squad.
The 18-year-old is a Lithuanian youth international.
Gradi has captained the Youth Team this season, playing 21 games.
The 18-year-old has also played 11 Development Squad games in the centre of defence, scoring once.
Tom, 18, has made the switch from left midfield to left back over the past two years.
He has scored two goals in 25 Youth Team games this season and played eight games for the Development Squad.
Central midfield player James, 18, captained Brentford’s Milk Cup winning team in 2012.
Injuries affected the start of his season but he recovered to play 15 Youth Team games, scoring five goals.
He has played a further ten games for the Development Squad.
Zain has featured regularly alongside in the centre of midfield, scoring four goals in 25 games, a number of them candidates for Goal of the Year.
The 18-year-old has also scored twice for the Development Squad in eight appearances.
Seika has scored three goals in eight Youth Team games while Courtney has found the net twice in ten games at Under-18 level.
Tall striker Seika, 18, and speedy wide attacker Courtney have both also played for the Development Squad this term, the former only in friendlies.
Courtney, 17, has scored twice in 13 Development Squad games this term.
Bradley, who will be 18 in July, has notched up an impressive 14 goals in 20 Youth Team games this season, while also studying for his A Levels.
He has also scored four times in 18 Development Squad appearances.

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