Southampton FC is delighted to announce the signings of youngsters Christoph Klarer and Aaron O’Driscoll on professional contracts.
Klarer, an Austrian Under-16 international, and Irishman O’Driscoll, 17, will join up with Saints’ Under-18s for the new season alongside the 13 scholars who joined the club last week.
Austrian Klarer is a right sided central defender who has impressed both at club level as well as internationally, contributing four goals in 22 appearances for Wien’s Under-16s last season.
“I’m really happy to sign and then to train with the lads outside already,” he said. “I’m really happy to play for a great club like Southampton because it was my dream and now I have achieved a little bit of my big dream.
“English football and the Premier League is very interesting and of course, the power and the football and talent is great, so I’m very happy to be here and I’m looking forward to every game with great opponents, so that’s what I’m looking for and that’s why I’m here.
“It’s my dream to be with the first team and it’s great to see them every day here training very hard and it’s easier to set my goals when I’m looking at them and seeing them train outside.”
Dublin-born O’Driscoll is a 6’2” ball-playing centre back who can also play in midfield, and was part of Manchester City’s Under-18s team as well as being eligible for Republic of Ireland’s Under-17 squad.
He said: “I’m very happy. It’s a great move for me and I can’t wait to get started so I’m looking forward to it.
“Southampton has such a good history of bringing players through and you feel you have a chance here to go on.
“I was at Manchester City for two full seasons but it wasn’t the best for me as I had a bad injury last season so I’m hoping to be pain-free this season and have a good season on the pitch.
“Hopefully I’ll establish myself with the Under-18s this season and push on into the Under-21s and see how I do. Then hopefully I can do well with the 21s and impress the new first team manager who seems to be giving youth a chance, and that’s what I want to push on and do here.”