Luton Town have handed 11 of their U16s squad full-time scholarships for next season.
Deals have been awarded to defenders Harry Bean (Biggleswade), Akin Famewo (Beaston), Cameron McJannet (Leighton Buzzard), plus midfielders Joshua Brown (Haynes), Kavan Cotter (Harrow), Tyreeq Bakinson (Luton), Jack Snelus (Milton Keynes), George Murray (Ampthill) along with strikers Erin Amu (Luton), Freddie Hinds (Potton) and James Verney (Tring).
U16 head coach Joe Deeney told the club’s official website: “It has been a really pleasing last few months in the under 15/16 phase at the club.
“We have successfully passed the EPPP Audit which was a tough process and it is pleasing that the EPPP have acknowledged the excellent work that has been going on at the football club.
“The return of Dan Walder to the football club was instrumental in getting our EPPP status.
“Dan has done an excellent job as our Head of Youth Operations. It has been a tough few years having been out of the Football League and the Board and SOLYD have been fantastic with their continued huge financial support and belief in the youth department to continue the youth programme in the absence of Football League funding.
“Over the last two weeks it has been that difficult time of the season when we have made our scholarship decisions in the U16 group.
“This season has been incredibly difficult for myself, Wayne Turner and Paul Driver as we have had a really talented group of 19 players to make decisions on.
“Unfortunately these decisions can often lead to talented young players leaving us.
“It has been a hugely emotional time for the players, all of which have been desperate to be given the opportunity to play for Luton Town.
“The group as a whole have been a real pleasure to work with and epitomise everything that brings success: ability, attitude, application, desire and an excellent work ethic and attitude to improve. Eight of the 11 signed scholars have come through our Academy from the foundation phase. This further highlights the excellent work at the younger years that has enabled us to have such a strong group at the 15s/16s phase.
“The challenge now will be can the players continue to show the same ability, attitude and application to break into and establish themselves as first team regulars in the forthcoming years.
“The potential of the players and the attitude and quality of the first team professionals they will encounter every day will hold them in good stead for the future.
“I would like to give thanks to the U16 staff I have had working with me this season. Joe Oxley (U16 Assistant Coach), Callum Sharpin (Sports Scientist), Ryan Flarry (Sports Therapist), Simon Dunn (Analyst), and Lee Cowley (Lead Youth Development Phase coach).
“They have all played vital roles in the Under-16 phase that has seen us produce what hopefully will go on to be an excellent crop of young players ready to play in our first team.”