Southampton Football Cub has handed two-year professional scholarships to 13 players as part of its latest intake to the Under-18s squad.
A large proportion of the players have come through the youth ranks at the club, but, significantly, they have been joined by many young talents from other teams who have opted to further their fledgling careers with Saints.
The group were welcomed to the club by Academy Manager Matt Hale and Under-18s coach Craig Fleming, most with their parents alongside them, as they committed themselves to Southampton for the next two years.
Hale said: “This is the first day when we get all of our new scholars for next season before they start in earnest with a set of fitness testing over the next few days, with one day off before going straight into the start of pre-season.
“Today is very much an induction coming into the club and signing their scholarship agreements and then saying goodbye to their families, and then settling into their host families where they’ll be over the next two years, so it’s very much the start of a new part of their journey with us.
“We’ve got quite a few with us who have been here for a long time, many of which are from the locality and certainly the south of England, but we’ve also brought to the club this year new territory for us, one or two from across the border in Scotland, Ireland and also from further afield.”
The new boys are: Harry Hamblin, Kieran Freeman, Jonathan Afolabi, Oliver Gardner, Harlem Hale, Harrison Davis, Michael Obafemi, Jamie Bradley-Green, William Smallbone, Jake Vokins, Adam Parkes, Alex Cull, Javen Siu.
You can find out more about the 13 players joining the Saints Academy below: