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League One

Scunthorpe United: Apprentice of the Year Lewis Butroid taking his chance

29 September 2017

After joining his hometown club’s academy at just nine years old, Lewis Butroid has risen through the Scunthorpe United’s youth ranks to represent the Iron at first-team level.

The 19-year-old started in last Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Portsmouth at Glanford Park — making his EFL debut in the process.

He turned in a mature showing; a maturity demonstrated once more when United picked up a point at Gillingham in their most recent outing.

Graham Alexander says initial impressions of the youngster were good, following on from the Scunthorpe boss catching a glimpse of Butroid in 2016.

“I first saw Lewis in a reserve game during my first week at the club, and his composure and quality on the ball just stood out for me,” he said.

“I spoke to the other coaches about him and, at the start of last season, we had a look at him again. He was a little behind physically if we were going to progress him into the first team.”

He was handed a maiden competitive outing as a second-year apprentice by Alexander last season, with the full-back giving what assistant manager Chris Lucketti described as a ‘man of the match’ display in United’s Checkatrade Trophy win against Middlesbrough.

Following on from the impressive Checkatrade Trophy performance, Butroid continued to go from strength to strength and signed his first professional contract in January of 2017.

“We played him against Middlesbrough U21 in the Checkatrade Trophy, and if he came through that with flying colours, we would offer him a professional contract there and then – or within that short period,” Alexander revealed.

“He played in that game, and he was superb. You could just see his intelligence, his control, and he knew the game. I’ve never been so sure of a young player having a career.

“The way he handles himself is brilliant; he’s mature, ambitious and, more than anything, he’s a good footballer.”

Butroid’s development was recognised at last season’s EFL Awards, where he beat off competition to be named Sky Bet League One LFE Apprentice of the Year.

Prior to his EFL bow against Pompey, a second senior appearance came in the Checkatrade Trophy where Scunthorpe prevailed 3-1 in their Group H encounter against Sunderland U21.

The future certainly looks bright at Glanford Park with Butroid's fellow academy graduate Levi Sutton also making positive strides in to the first-team fold.

“They’ve deserved it, both of them,” Alexander added. “It’s good to see them developing and making their way into the first team to compete with the other lads.

“If players are coming into the first team, it has to be on merit; we don’t just throw them in – they’ve had to work hard to get their chance.

“It’s a route which I took as a player. I came up through the youth team as well – I came here at the age of 16. There are good players out there; you just have to work extremely hard with them.”

All photos by Luke Broughton

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