Teenagers pen Pompey apprenticeships

Back row (left to right) Cameron Green, Eddie Wakley, Tommy Scutt, Harvey Bradbury, Nick Hall and Ousman Saidy. Front: Harry Tumber, Jez Bedford, Theo Widdrington, Mikey Harris (U18 Academy coach), Kyle McDowell and Sam Woodward. Picture: Colin Farmery
Back row (left to right) Cameron Green, Eddie Wakley, Tommy Scutt, Harvey Bradbury, Nick Hall and Ousman Saidy. Front: Harry Tumber, Jez Bedford, Theo Widdrington, Mikey Harris (U18 Academy coach), Kyle McDowell and Sam Woodward. Picture: Colin Farmery
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Pompey have signed eight players on two-year apprenticeships.

Jez Bedford, Harvey Bradbury, Nick Hall, Kyle McDowell, Ousman Saidy, Tommy Scutt, Eddie Wakley and Theo Widdrington have all inked agreements to join the club on a full-time basis.

It’s the first step for them all on the pathway to becoming young professionals at this football club

Pompey Academy boss Mark Kelly

Goalkeeper Hall, defender Wakley and midfielder Scutt are from Portsmouth.

Striker Bradbury – son of former Blues forward Lee – is from Fareham, while defender Saidy is based in Gosport as the new intake has a local flavour.

All eight of the players, aged 16, represented Mikey Harris’ under-18s side last season, while they were members of the Blues’ under-16s set-up.

They are joined in Harris’ plans for the 2015-16 season by fellow 16-year-olds Sam Woodward, Harry Tumber and Cameron Green, who have penned extended-schoolboy deals, which will see them train with the group twice a week.

Proud Academy boss Mark Kelly said: ‘It’s the first step for them all on the pathway to becoming young professionals at this football club.

‘They are kids we have had for a long time, most of them have been here since they were babies, so to see them progress to the next stage is massive.

‘But we move with the thought process they are going to push themselves to one day be in the first team.

‘We can see they are all from within the vicinity – we are probably looking at an hour tops in and around Portsmouth, so we are creating home-grown players.

‘These are exciting times.’