Crystal Palace: Eight youngsters sign professional deals

Crystal Palace announce that eight players from the club's U18 squad have signed their first professional contracts with The Eagles.

Eight young Eagles from Crystal Palace's U18 squad have signed their first professional contracts with the club.

Will Hoare, Jacob Berkley-Agyepong, Christian Scales, Matthew George and Academy Player of the Year Michael Phillips all featured for Crystal Palace's development side last year and have been rewarded by signing their first pro terms.

The remaining three - Oliver O'Dwyer, Spenser Forte and Hussein Mohammed - have also done enough to warrant professional contracts from the Premier League club.

“We're delighted to hand these young players their first professional contracts," Academy manager Ben Smith told the club's official website.

"They've fully deserved them after putting in some fine displays for our under-18s and under-21 sides and I'm looking forward to seeing them continue to improve next season.

“We've seen the likes of Hiram Boateng, Jerome Binnom-Williams, Jake Gray and Sullay Kaikai get chances in the first-team in recent seasons and we hope that we can continue the club's tradition of giving academy players a chance with this crop of youngsters.”

While it's great to hearof  youngsters earning professional contracts, there are always a few that unfortunately miss out due to not taking their opportunities or, even worse, enduring a past plagued by injuries.

Bradley Comins, Jahmal Howett-Mundle, Kiye Martin, Elliot List, Shawnikki Clement-Peter and Joel Lumeya have all been released by Palace. They now need to search for potentially interested clubs and do their utmost to construct a career for themselves elsewhere.

The eight awarded professional contracts may be sent out on loan in order to gain first-team experience.

Crystal Palace had a great season in the Premier League in 2014/15, finishing tenth,  and will be hoping to grow again next year under the guidance of Alan Padrew and with their upcoming youth prospects joining the fold.

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