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Football League Awards: LFE Apprentice of the Year prizes to honour young players

17 April 2015

The cream of The Football League's emerging young talent will be recognised at the Football League Awards on Sunday night.

Players registered as a first or second-year scholar, or as a first-year professional, are eligible for the LFE Apprentice of the Year award and one winner will be chosen from each of The Football League's three divisions.

Judges have taken into account the record of the player in all competitions since he became an apprentice as well as his educational attainment, disciplinary record and any other outstanding achievements.

Shortlists

Championship

Lewis Cook (Leeds United)

A leading first-team player this season, Lewis excels in everything he does, from his manner around the training ground to the effort and endeavour he puts into the academic side of his apprenticeship. He has also been active in the community through visits and coaching.

Joe Gomez (Charlton Athletic)

Joe is a humble, disciplined, dedicated and well-liked scholar who has become a regular fixture in the first-team squad. He understands the importance of reviewing his performances and has developed positive relationships with his peers and senior coaches throughout his scholarship.

Fred Onyedinma (Millwall)

Described as ‘a pleasure to work with both on and off the pitch’, Fred has developed into a role model for all at the Academy. Everybody at the club says positive words about him as a man, not just a player, and he has shown great desire to succeed not just on the pitch but academically as well.

League 1

George Cooper (Crewe Alexandra)

Since his inclusion in the first team squad, George has displayed the qualities required to become a top player. He is recognised as a great role model for other apprentices and young players at Crewe, remaining humble and with his feet firmly on the ground even after some impressive first-team performances.

Giorgio Rasulo (Milton Keynes Dons)

A goal scorer who became a regular feature in Karl Robinson’s first-team towards the end of 2013/14, Giorgio made his league debut in a 2-0 win away at Stevenage in April. He went on to make a further nine appearances for the Dons last season before signing his first professional contract in May 2014.

Louis Reed (Sheffield United)

In his first year as a scholar Louis was an integral part of the youth team that reached the FA Youth Cup quarter-final. He has since gone on to become an established member of the first-team squad but has remained committed to his education and is active in the local community.

League 2

Conor Chaplin (Portsmouth)

Conor has shown a professional and conscientious approach to all that he does and has enjoyed a positive second year of his apprenticeship following injury in year one. He is very demanding of himself and always wants to improve his performances, readily engaging with coaching staff to identify areas of development.

Ben Harrison (AFC Wimbledon)

Since joining the club in 2007, Ben has developed his footballing talents alongside social, academic and personal skills to become a likeable and mature member of the club. His hard work, focus and dedication on and off the pitch has been rewarded with a professional contract and regular call-ups to the first team.

Ryan Johnson (Stevenage)

Signed on a two-year scholarship in 2013, Ryan was rewarded for his outstanding progress with his first professional contract just a year later. He entered the record books when he became the youngest-ever Football League debutant for Stevenage at just 17 years and 215 days in May 2014.

Previous winners

Championship

2014: Mason Bennett (Derby County)
2013: Dimitar Evtimov (Nottingham Forest)
2012: Gael Bigirimana (Coventry City)
2011: Connor Wickham (Ipswich Town)
2010: Adam Matthews (Cardiff City)
2009: Sean Scannell (Crystal Palace)
2008: Mark Beevers (Sheffield Wednesday)
2007: Chris Gunter (Cardiff City)
2006: Lewin Nyatanga (Derby County)

League 1

2014: Brendan Galloway (Milton Keynes Dons)
2013: Luke James (Hartlepool United)
2012: Jordan Cousins (Charlton Athletic)
2011: Dale Jennings (Tranmere Rovers)
2010: Tom Adeyemi (Norwich City)
2009: Tom Aldred (Carlisle United)
2008: Daniel Broadbent (Huddersfield Town)
2007: Joe Skarz (Huddersfield Town)
2006: Scott Golbourne (Bristol City)

League 2

2014: Bradley Walker (Hartlepool United)
2013: George Sykes (Barnet)
2012: Nick Powell (Crewe Alexandra)
2011: Kadeem Harris (Wycombe Wanderers)
2010: Kyle Haynes (Cheltenham Town)
2009: Matt Phillips (Wycombe Wanderers)
2008: Ryan Bennett (Grimsby Town)
2007: Joe Thompson (Rochdale)
2006: Ikechi Anya (Wycombe Wanderers)

About LFE

League Football Education (LFE) was established in 2004 by The Football League and the Professional Footballers’ Association to deliver the Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence education programme to 16 to 18-year-old players at the 72 Football League clubs.

In April 2012, LFE was judged as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted after an inspection lasting five days, which confirmed LFE as one of the best providers of Work Based Learning in England. LFE is delighted and proud to sponsor The Football League Awards to recognise the Apprentice of the Year in each of The League’s three divisions.

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