Cobblers hoping new scholarship intake will be six of the best

Jay Williams has progressed from the youth team to the first team this season
Jay Williams has progressed from the youth team to the first team this season

The Cobblers have announced that six young players have put pen to paper on full-time scholarships ahead of next season.

Five of the six have come through the club’s academy age-groups, while the sixth has joined Town having previously been at Premier League Southampton.

The homegrown players joining the Cobblers are central midfielder Liam Cross, striker Lewis Gilbert, attacking midfielder Tom Scott, right-back Richie Bailey and central defender Josh Flanagan, while midfielder Ewan Clark arrives having left Saints.

“We have offered six scholarships and they have signed on to join us full time for next season,” said Cobblers head of academy Kieran Scarff.

“We think these players have potential and we are looking forward to working with them.

“Our recruitment for our full time scholars continues, our scouts are watching lots of games and identifying players for consideration and we were at the EFL exit trials during half term too.”

In recent years, several players have worked their way through the academy and gone on to sign professional contracts, including the likes of first team regular Shaun McWilliams, as well as Morgan Roberts, Jay Williams, Camron McWilliams, Sean Whaler and Joe Iaciafano, who have all played for the first team.

“The Academy is in a very good position and I have been very impressed with the infrastructure that is in place,” said Scarff, who joined the club in the new year from Doncaster Rovers.

“The club’s reputation for developing young players is very strong, players are very keen to be part of our development programme and we are looking to continue to produce players who, in time, are capable of making an impact at first team level.”