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Scholars: Class of 2019

Ten teenagers ready to join Academy staff full time

29 April 2019

Ten new scholars will start their full-time career as a Claret next season.

The teenagers will begin their two-year Academy programme (16-18) when they report for pre-season training in July, hoping to follow in the footsteps of those who have graduated to the professional ranks and, in the case of current first-team star Dwight McNeil, the Premier League.

All but one of the 10 have been in Burnley’s Academy set-up since the under-14 age group, training in the evenings and on a day-release basis during the current season to help prepare them for the step up.

And next season they will join the second-year scholars in Tony Philliskirk’s squad playing in the U18 Professional Development League, as well as trying to force themselves into the U23 group led by Steve Stone – a level striker Lewis Richardson and midfielder Ben Woods have already experienced.

Academy manager Jon Pepper (above) told the Turf matchday programme: “We know a lot about the lads, having been coached in the Academy for some time, and they have deserved their chance to spend a further two years with us on a full-time basis.

“We look forward to helping them develop further, on and off the pitch, during that time and giving them the platform to hopefully go on and enjoy a prolonged career.

“The opportunities are there to build on what they have already shown and hopefully they can kick on and fulfil their potential with us.”

Here, Pepper gives us the run-down on the class of 2019:

Joel Connolly – right-back – signed at U13

Converted winger, tenacious full-back already made his debut for the Under 18s.

Jake Rooney – right-side centre-back – signed at U14

Converted midfield player, now a ball-playing 6ft 3 centre-back.

Matthew Carson – left-side centre-back – Signed at U14

Part of Scottish U16 training camps, left-sided defender signed from Liverpool.

Finlay Armstrong – left-back – Signed at U13

Tall, lean left-back who enjoys going forward. Already made his debut for the Under 18s this season.

Ben Woods – centre midfield – Signed at U16

Signed from Man Utd, part of the England U15 training camp who has already made his debut for the Under 23 squad, scoring on his first start (above).

Tremaine Eastmond – midfield – Signed at U9

Small, technical midfield player, later developer in the group.

Corey Brennan – centre midfield – Signed at U13

Box-to-box midfield player who has a good physical presence on the pitch.

Dylan Moonan – centre midfield – Signed at U9

Composed midfield player who is also comfortable playing at the back.

Joe McGlynn – centre-forward – Signed at U12

Part of Scottish U16 training camps, all action physical centre-forward who has formed a good partnership with Lewis Richardson over the years.

Lewis Richardson – centre-forward – Signed at U9.

Just finishing a wonderful season, scoring five on his Under 18 debut for the Clarets, a hat-trick on his U23 debut and scoring twice for England U16s in a tournament in Turkey.

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