Ten youngsters sign Academy scholarships

By SFC Media time Fri 08 Jul Saints Academy
Photo by Isabelle Field | Southampton Scholars 2022/23

Southampton Football Club has handed scholarships to ten more youngsters ahead of the 2022/23 season, as they join up with the Under-18s.

The latest cohort join midfielder Alex Iwumene and keeper Josh Jeffries, who had their scholarships announced in June and April respectively. 

Eight of the latest intake are products of the club’s Academy, while Nathanael Boot and Brandon Charles have joined from AFC Bournemouth and Queens Park Rangers respectively.

All signing two-year deals, they will be looking to make an impact in Mikey Harris’ Under-18s squad this season.

Brandon Charles joined Brentford Academy at the age of seven, remaining there until the Academy closed when he was ten-years-old before spending six years at QPR.

Now 16, Charles plays as an attacking midfielder and credits Philippe Coutinho as one of his inspirations in football.

Nathanael Boot travels along the south coast as he joins Saints this summer. At AFC Bournemouth from Under-12 level, the centre-back credits his athleticism and composure on the ball among his best attributes.

A familiar face in both Southampton’s Under-18 and B team sides last season, Jimmy Jay Morgan has also committed his future to the club after joining in July 2015.

Morgan made 18 appearances in Under-18 Premier League last season, as well as two appearances for Saints’ B team.

Perhaps his shining moment of the season, Morgan found the back of the net for Dave Horseman’s side in an impressive win over Newcastle United in Premier League 2 back in April.

Also joining the club’s academy in 2015, Alfie Prescot believes he has a flair for dribbling with the ball as well as jumping on the press and winning the ball high up the pitch.

Isaac Bailey and Ethan Hartness both joined Southampton’s Development Centre in 2018, while Tyler Edmondson joined in January 2020.

At just 15 years old Bailey is the youngest player in this year’s intake, with the central midfielder noting his passing ability as a strong component of his play.

Hartness, a local boy who has grown up in Southampton, plays at left-back and considers Southampton his dream club to play for.

Another local boy comes in the form of Tyler Edmondson, who even had a season ticket at St Mary’s since the age of seven, with the centre-back seeing his scholarship as a huge honour.

Next up is Joe Andrews, who joins Saints from our Bath Development Centre. The central midfielder highlights his passing accuracy and ability to break up the game as some of his best attributes.

Following Andrews from the Bath Development Centre is striker Will Merry, who believes his speed and beat the man moves as his strong suit. 

Reggie Evans, who made two appearances in the Under-18 Premier League last season, came through the Bristol Development Centre.

Featuring against both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in 2021/22, the centre-back will surely be looking to increase his play time for Mikey Harris’ side this season.

Academy Director Matt Hale expressed his delight at the completion of the scholarship deals, crediting both players and staff alike for their dedication and hard work.

"It's great to see so many young players earn a scholarship at the Club who have been here so long,” he confessed. “A lot of these players have been with us for eight years.

“They know the Southampton Way inside and out and understand the expectations both on and off the pitch.

“It will be exciting to see how they will progress this year in their first full-time experience in football.

“They will learn so much and if they continue their excellent levels of conduct and behaviour, they have every chance of making a huge success of their careers."

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