Congratulations to the under-16s getting new dealsTHE FESTIVE PERIOD has allowed Exeter City's youngsters a chance to recover and recuperate whilst a break in the fixture lists takes place over the Christmas holidays.
The month of December is also a time when the coaches and Academy staff at Exeter City start offering scholarships to the under-16 squad members who have earned new deals from their hard work, dedication and application during their time at the Cat & Fiddle Academy.
This season, Simon Hayward and the City coaches have offered nine individuals the chance to extend their stay at the academy and to represent Exeter City Football Club for a further two years.
Hayward praised the successful nine players for their attitude and hard work, but the academy manager was quick to sympathise with those who weren't able to earn a new deal and thanked them and their parents for their commitment during their stay at the academy.
"I'd like to congratulate the nine players on achieving their scholarship deals, but unfortunately, there were a handful of players we couldn't hand a deal to at this current time," Hayward said. "These individuals have put in up to eight years of hard work, and we thank them and their families for their dedication over the course of their time with us.
"All of these players are decent young men, who are good footballers, but ultimately the football club aren't able to offer scholarships to everyone. We will continue to help these players as they approach some important decisions in their lives, and we will try and keep them involved with the club for as long as possible."
Sam Haynes, Mitch Thomas, Joel Randall, Joe O'Loughlin, Josh Hancock, Harry Kite, Lucas White, Brandon Parsons and Josh Key were the nine successful players and City will be hoping they hit the ground running to represent the under-18s next season.
Haynes is a defender who has been with City since he was nine, whilst Thomas comes from South Devon, and the centre-midfielder has been attached to Exeter since under-8-level.
Randall is an attacking midfielder from North Devon, whilst left-back O'Loughlin heralds from Tavistock and has been with City since he was ten.
Two more players to have been at the Cat & Fiddle since under-9-level are centre-back Hancock and centre-midfielder Kite. Hancock comes from South Devon whilst Kite travels from Crediton.
White originates from Alphington and has represented Exeter since he was ten, whilst Parsons, from Tiverton, has been at the club since under-13-level.
Key was the last to join the club, following the original closure of Torquay United's academy. Despite having a hip injury at the beginning of the season, he has battled through it to earn himself a scholarship deal.
All nine of the aforementioned players have performed well this season, and deservedly have earned their new deals as well as the recognition from the staff members at Exeter City. They have all played an integral part in helping the under-16s top the standings following their competitive fixtures from the South West region, and will go into the new year full of confidence following the good news they have received over the Christmas break and superb form they displayed on the football pitch.
Hopefully they can take all the positives from the start of this season into January and the second half of the season, and help it make it another memorable year for the Exeter City academy once again.