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League One

Bowerman named Young Player of the Month

19 October 2012

Walsall striker George Bowerman has been awarded the npower Football League Young Player of the Month Award for September.

Coming through the Walsall youth academy, Bowerman, 20, signed a professional contract with the club in the summer of 2010.

After a loan spell at Redditch United he broke into the first-team in the 2011/12 season and has continued his rise this season, scoring six goals during a series of impressive performances.

The month of September has arguably been Bowerman's finest in a Walsall shirt with the young striker netting five goals, including a brace against Preston North End and another against title challengers Stevenage.

On winning the award, Bowerman said, "I'm happy with my form at the moment and I am working really hard in training to improve. We're doing things at the club the right way and hopefully more goals will come from our performances. I know what I have to do and hopefully I can have a good season."

Walsall manager, Dean Smith added, "I am quite fortunate that I was the youth team manager before I became the boss here, it meant I knew players in the system and who was good. George was part of my front two and I brought him through to the reserves and then into the first team. He has got his rewards this season with six goals already and had a few more chances so he knows he can add to it if he keeps the same mind set and work rate."

Each season, Football League clubs invest more than £40m on identifying, training and educating the next generation of football talent. Around a third of this money (£12.6m) is provided by the Football Association and Premier League. There are 8,700 young players registered with League clubs making Football League Youth Development the largest centrally co-ordinated young player programme in world football.

David Wetherall, Head of Youth Development at The Football League, said: "Since breaking into the first-team last season, George has shown what a talented footballer he is.

"He has a real taste for goals and his enthusiasm and skill is certainly paying off, I wish him all the best of luck for the rest of the season and beyond."

Each month the accolade will be awarded by The Football League to the young player who has made the most significant contribution and impact in first team football. To be eligible the player must be either under 21 years of age or be playing in the season during which he turns 21.

During the 2011/12 season, 225 players aged 21 or under made their professional debuts in The Football League.

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