International action for Stones“This shows there’s not only a pathway into our first team, there’s a path beyond that which boosts our recruitment strategy.”
“It goes without saying he’s got a bright future in front of him,” continued Branson. “We’re proud and pleased for him. He’s a smashing kid off the field as well. It’s not just about being a footballer, it’s about developing you as a person as well.
Stones captained the Under 18s last season and made his senior debut against Reading in the spring before making his full debut away to Rochdale back in August, a game in which he notched his first senior goal.
“It says a lot for the standard of coaching, he’s been here since he was eight and he’s had contact with a lot of good people. From an Academy point of view it shows it can be done. Some Academies want to buy in the best talent and progress them from a later age, it’s quite unique now with someone like John that he’s stayed with one Academy for all that time.”
“When lad in any academy starts at a young age and goes right through, especially with his hometown club, it’s credit to him and everybody who has coached him.” Reds Academy Manager Ronnie Branson told barnsleyfc.co.uk.
The 18-year-old played the entire first half at the New Bucks Head Stadium with the scores still at 0-0, and it took a stoppage-time penalty from Everton’s John Lundstram for Noel Blake’s men to seal victory.
Reds youngster John Stones earned his second England cap at Under 19s level in last night’s 1-0 victory over Finland in Telford.