Smales-Braithwaite seals pro deal

By SFC Media Fri 28 Jun U 18
Photo by Benni Smales-Braithwaite

Southampton Football Club is delighted to announce that young forward Benni Smales-Braithwaite has agreed terms on his first professional contract.

Joining Saints from Manchester City in 2018, the striker turned 17 in April, and has now put pen to paper on a three-year deal, taking him through until June 2022.

The youngster worked his way into Paul Hardyman's Under-18s side as a first-year scholar last term, making 19 appearances and scoring three times.

Upon signing, Smales-Braithwaite described the pride associated with securing his first professional deal, and how he's now looking forward to hitting the ground running as the 2019/20 season approaches.

"I feel extremely proud," the striker said. "It means a lot to me and my family to become a professional footballer, but this is just the start.

"It's just the beginning for me; I can't wait for the new season to start and to get back to playing football every day.

"It takes a while to settle when you move away from home, but the club have been really supportive and I'm delighted to have a future here.

"The staff here are great and I'm ready to work hard to try and make an impression."

Academy Manager Matt Hale said: "Benni is an example of a player who has come through our acquisition model at 16.

"Joining us last year following good work in our recruitment and talent ID areas, Benni was identified as a young player with real talent and lots of potential.

"He has a great eye for goal and has superb finishing technique, as well as being clever and imaginative which allows him to play as both a number nine and 10.

"He deserves his professional contract and we look forward to seeing him progress next season."

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