Young defender Armitage joins Saints Academy


Southampton Football Club are pleased to announce the signing of Will Armitage from Cheltenham Town on a scholarship deal.

Sixteen-year-old central defender Armitage made two senior appearances at League One side Cheltenham, impressing with his performances against Chelsea’s U21s and Exeter City in the Papa John’s Trophy.

He describes himself as a tall, commanding defender, who is equally as comfortable with his feet and playing out from the back.

Armitage will initially join up with Carl Martin’s Under-18s side, with an eye on a regular place in the club’s B team going forward.

Speaking on the move, Armitage said: “It feels amazing to be here, really good. It feels great to be in such a great facility, in a great area, with a great bunch of lads and I’m really looking forward to getting started.

“I’ve always said since I was a young lad that I wanted to be a professional footballer and I’m just one step closer now which is amazing and Southampton will give me those opportunities.

“I do see a real pathway at Southampton with the 18s into the B team and then into first-team. Hopefully that pathway can lead to the first team for me."

“Our new player Insights department have led on the search for a talented centre back to join our professional development phase," said Academy Director Matt Hale.

"We have monitored Will for many months and witnessed his progress at Cheltenham with much interest.

"Cheltenham have been excellent in working with us to make the signing happen and once we were permitted to talk to Will it was evident his maturity and professional character would be an ideal match for our Southampton Football Club Culture.

"Will has some strong physical characteristics and the ability on the ball to suit our style of play at the Club. It will be great to see him playing in an Academy shirt hopefully this weekend and I look forward to seeing him develop further with us.”