Jonathan Bland has been named Academy Player of the Season for the 22/23 campaign.
Bland, who joined the academy a year ago from West Bromwich Albion, has featured heavily in our title-winning U18s side under the stewardship of Nicky Eaden.
A central midfielder by trade, the 17-year-old has been utilised at centre-half for large parts this campaign, demonstrating his versatility and tactical awareness in a different role.
Our U18s are currently in Tenerife on a visit funded by the Alan Turing Scheme, training and playing games against local outfits.
Eaden's side then take on the U18 PDL play-offs, where they will play a one-legged semi-final. If successful, our young Reds will then face off in a final in order to win the overall trophy.
Bobby Hassell, Academy Manager, said: "Jonathan has had a fantastic season," he began. "He has played in various positions and excelled in them all. When you consider that he is only a first year scholar, his accolades of manager’s player, players’ player and academy player of the year, speak for themselves.
"Truly well-deserved awards for a great player and a genuinely nice, well-rounded young man."
On winning the award, Bland added: “I’m speechless, to be honest, I don’t know what to say. It’s just nice to get a bit of recognition. I came here because I wanted a chance to prove myself and I’m just grateful that’s what the coaches have done for me.
“They’ve given me the chance to prove that I’m the player that I think I am.”