Ten youngsters sign Academy scholarships


Southampton Football Club has handed scholarships to ten players who will join up with the Under-18s next season.

Each of the latest intake, who will all sign two-year deals as part of the scholarship, are products of the club’s Academy.

Dominic Ballard, Cameron Bragg, Ryan Chavez-Munoz, Kamari Doyle, Tommy-Lee Higgs, Jeremiah Hewlett and Joshua Squires all joined the club in 2013, with Sonnie Davis, Josh Lett and Rylee Wright joining in 2015, 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Amongst those who will see their time at the club surpass a decade at the end of their scholarship is midfielder Doyle, who has also represented England at several of their training camps.

The 15-year-old made 17 appearances for the Under 17s and Under-18s last season, including a B-team appearance against Chelsea towards the latter end of the campaign, having joined the Academy via the Bath centre.

Two more of the new intakes who featured within the B-team set-up last season were 16-year-old midfielder Bragg, whose looking forward to taking every experience that comes his way, and winger Ballard, who notes his ability at taking on players as his best attribute.

Next up is defensive midfielder Squires; the 15-year-old is another of the contingent who will reach 10 years as a Saint at the end of his deal after making 28 appearances last campaign.

Fellow midfielder Chavez-Munoz featured 15 times last season, whilst Hewlett, who followed Doyle in joining the club through the Bath centre, made 27 appearances.

Rounding off the group currently in their eighth year at the Academy is forward Higgs, who featured 17 times in a season of real personal development.

16-year-old winger Wright joined the club in 2018 and signs his new scholarship fresh off of 24 outings last year.

Davis joined the club in 2015 and was another of the intake to feature within a B-team matchday squad last campaign.

The 16-year-old right-back was rewarded with an inclusion within the set-up after making 24 appearances last season.

Finally signing on is 16-year-old Lett, who has also tasted international football at England training camps in the past.

The left-back made 22 appearances during 2021/21 campaign and is keen to impress going into the new season.

On the new intake Academy Manager Edd Vahid was thrilled to see the hard work from players and staff alike coming to fruition.

"We are delighted that the players have committed their future to the Football Club," he said. "A scholarship represents an important milestone in the development of a young player, and is an achievement they should proudly celebrate.

"The players and their families have worked incredibly hard and invested significant time over several years to get to this stage. Whilst the players are connected by the football club they each have their own story, and now have an opportunity to create a new chapter as a Scholar.

"Many of the players have been with the Club for seven or eight years and in this period they have interacted with multiple staff, across various departments and sites."

"The staff work tirelessly in their support of the players and should also enjoy these moments.

"The club has a proud tradition of developing young players and we look forward with optimism at the continued progression of this group."

Each of this group have already reported back to pre-season training, ahead of the upcoming season with the club's Under-18s side.