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Club News

Pro-deals for youngsters

24 March 2015

United can confirm that several second-year scholars have been given one-year professional contracts for next season.

Following consultations between first-team manager Nigel Clough, Development Coach Chris Morgan and Academy staff, six youngsters have signed deals, whilst two others have already penned long-term contracts with the Blades.

The six who have been given one-year deals are...

Goalkeeper Jake Eastwood, who has been with the Academy since the age of 11 and having being involved with England training camps, the stopper has enjoyed a successful loan spell with Sheffield FC this season.

Defender Ioan Evans, who has skippered the U18s and been a regular for the U21s, he recently featured for Wales U17s in European qualifiers. The centre-half has also gained some valuable first-team experience with Sheffield FC in recent months.

Striker Daniel Cockerline, who arrived at the Academy having been released by Bury at the age of 16. In the last two seasons he has proved himself to be a regular goalscoring threat and has impressed for both the U18s and U21s.

Jake Wright, who is another striker who has been in excellent this season, most notably whilst on-loan at Hallam FC earlier this season. Wright who has also played for the U18s and U21s this term, is currently gaining further experience with Ilkeston FC.

Kler Heh, who joined the Blades at the age of 14 through the Football Unites, Racism Divides (FURD) project. The versatile midfielder was in top form for the U18s in the first-half of the season and has spent the last few months on-loan at Stocksbridge Park Steels.

David Brooks, who recently joined United from Manchester City, where he had been since the age of seven. A lack of opportunities with City saw Brooks decide to make the move and he has since been a stand out performer for United's U18s in recent weeks.

In addition, Louis Reed and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who are part of this age group, have already committed their long-term futures to the Blades.

Academy Manager Nick Cox remarked: "We are really pleased to see eight players achieve professional deals with the Club. This is a large number and it demonstrates the Club's commitment to developing young players.

"The manager is a huge advocate of giving young players time to develop within the system. Of all the lads to sign, six were born and raised locally and that is something else to be proud of."

U18s Lead Coach Travis Binnion added: "Congratulations to all of the boys, it is no less than they deserve as they have worked so hard over the years and finally this moment has come.

"Whilst the youth team may not have won games on a regular basis this season, we always knew we had a strong group of players and that individually they were developing very well and all of the players have developed further by playing for the U21s and spending time away at local non-league clubs."

Meanwhile, Fahad Ishmail, Joe Cheeseman, MJ Kedman and Jamie Hinchliffe have been unsuccessful in obtaining a professional deal and will be released at the end of the season. The Club would like to thank them for their efforts and the commitment they have shown whilst with the Academy and all leave with the Club's best wishes for the future as they look to find employment elsewhere.

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