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Club News

Progress for Academy

23 April 2015

United's U18s finished their league campaign with consecutive victories over Swansea City and Birmingham City, but Lead Coach Travis Binnion said it was more a year of development rather than notable success on the field.

The youngsters started in positive fashion and ended it in impressive style, but during the winter months it was something of a torrid time in terms of results, but a number of second years furthered their careers by playing competitively in non-league with a host of local clubs who the Blades have previously formed strong links with.

Blades prospects have spent time this year at Matlock Town, Stocksbridge PS, Ilkeston, Grantham, Stalybridge Celtic, Hallam FC and Sheffield FC, amongst others.

Looking back on the 2014/15 campaign, Binnion commented: "We enjoyed a very good start to the season and a promising finish, but in between we struggled and for long periods it has been a difficult campaign for everyone involved.

"At times we have made it difficult for ourselves in terms of results by accelerating the development of the majority of the second years, which has been a major positive for the Academy on reflection.

"The lads who have been out on-loan have amassed in excess of 50 starts between them all since Christmas and the feedback from their respective managers has been excellent.

"Having players out on-loan for periods throughout the season has exposed a lot of our first-years who have been supported regularly by the U16s.

"Our struggles through the middle of this campaign will be of benefit next season as the majority have experienced what is required this term."

Binnion was keen to acknowledge the main objective within the Academy is to continue the production line of players progressing to the first-team, something that has again been successful this term.

He added: "Louis Reed has become something of a fixture within the first-team having started last pre-season with us and that is a fantastic achievement for him.

"He and Dominic (Calvert-Lewin) have both now signed long-term with the Club which is brilliant; not only for them, but more importantly the Club has tied down two top prospects.

"It is also pleasing to see the Club offer six youngsters professional contracts, Jake Eastwood, Jake Wright, Ioan Evans, Kler Heh, Daniel Cockerline and David Brooks are worthy of the chance to impress the Gaffer further, after good seasons with us and in non-league."

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