Often Partisan

Pro Contracts for Four Academy Players

Birmingham City have today confirmed that four youngsters are to be given their professional deals by the club. Reece Hales, Nick Townsend, Charlee Adams and James Fry are all to get pro deals whilst Jean Kalenda has been given an extra year’s scholarship.

Hales, (18) made his first team bow for Blues in the FA Cup 3rd round match away to Leeds United. He’s been a regular goalscorer for both the u18s and the u21s and has progressed massively this season to the fringes of the first team squad. A bustling centre forward, reminiscent of Geoff Horsfield, Hales has built a good reputation for his strength and hard work up front.

Townsend (18) is now Blues 3rd choice keeper after the departure of David Lucas in January to Fleetwood Town. Townsend has made the bench for Blues when regular keepers have been injured and has joined Oxford City of the Conference North on loan until the end of the season, making his debut for them against Solihull Moors last week.

James Fry (18) has been allocated a squad number as his stock continues to rise thanks to some good form whilst skippering the u18 team. Fry has pushed into the u21 picture and is seen as a strong leader in central defence, who is highly rated by the coaching set-up.

Charlee Adams came to the club from West Ham United in 2011 and the midfielder has settled into the Academy team with some good performances, including an excellent goal in the 3-1 FA Youth Cup win over West Bromwich Albion.

I’m sure that you will join me in congratulating the newest additions to the Blues professional ranks.

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58 Responses to “Pro Contracts for Four Academy Players”

  • mark says:

    absolutely Dan, the roll just keeps on coming, fantastic new for BCFC, any chance we will find 25 goal season goalscorer for next season??

    • Nick says:

      Step forwards Akwasi Asante!

    • thongs says:

      Fantastic news? Read between the lines, we’re up shit creek without a paddle.

      You’re very lucky to get one youngster make it through the ranks, we are giving every Tom, Dick and Arthur a contract. Lets face it none of what we’ve see so far has been anything other than average to poor. And I include Butland in that statement.

      • almajir says:

        I think that you are being unbelievably harsh – I’m not sure if you are trolling or just hate everything and everyone…

        • thongs says:

          Not Trolling at all, these are grim times. You can’t tell me all these kids are the real deal.

          • almajir says:

            In honesty they’re the best batch I’ve seen come through the academy

          • thongs says:

            I’ve seen them a few time and they look ok against kids the same age. I’ve not seen anything to suggest they can step up. Packwood put in shocking performances and he was considered one of the better ones.

          • Euston 9.18 says:

            And we were lucky against arsenal in the league cup final.

            Good Grief ;(

          • mark says:

            If it too grim for you maybe its in your best interest to find some thing that interests you…….this is where we are…. like it or lump it…..it up to you whether you embrace this or not……

        • Ali Duncan says:

          Agreed Al. I think Hancox is a real talent and Callum has improved with every game. Will Packwood was starting to really progress until his injury. I’m disappointed you feel that way Thongs as Butland too has performed very well after finding his feet. Add Nathan’s recent excellent form and it shows what a great bunch of young lads we have and how the academy is blossoming.

          Some people are so negative it’s not even funny. Howewver that is your opinion and you’re entitled to it as much as I am mine but I think you’re being very very harsh.

        • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

          He’s had you in the net there Dan

          You know what he’s like by now :)

        • chas says:

          Surprised that you were taken in there, Al.

      • Marky mark says:

        Perhaps you should give them a chance to prove there worth as most have barely played a handful of games, to call them average to poor shows a distinct lack of appreciation for any kid trying to make it. Or maybe you should be working for our academy as you reckon you know a good in when you see one.

        There may not be the next Sir TF in the ranks but there a good honest hardworking bunch of lads who deserve our support.

  • Big Al says:

    I’d be interested to know if anyone has been released?

  • dave mann says:

    at this rate our under21s will have to be abolished, because there all be
    playing for the first team next season.
    FANtastic news. keep them rolling on and on and on………..KRO.

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    Good news indeed and congratulations to our newest professional recruits.

    Seems like LC and his team are getting ready to clear the decks and start building the squad. So that’s a striker,goalie and two midfielders to the ranks and it would be interesting to know who LC is considering as surplus to requirements.

    The on-field side of things will certainly be buzzing and I believe that the management have/are gonna be pretty pro-active in getting things in place.

    Just hope that the seniors that LC wants to retain do not get better offers from elsewhere.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    With Jack going in the summer it will be intersting to see if Doyle is made first choice and Townsend becomes number 2.

  • Radavis says:

    Great stuff.

    But, Al, maybe you know, have Mitch Hancox and Callum Reilly got new contracts in the offing? Even Redmond?

    As these are the players that have come through and made an impact surely some long term deal to tie them down and increase their sellable value are needed!?

  • zenzero says:

    I can imagine a whole host of the over-agers will leave this summer. My bet is Pablo, Caldwell, Carr, Mullins, Gomis and maybe Lovenkrands. I think LC would like to hold onto Elliot, maybe give Ambrose another season and of course Fahey.

    • mark says:

      I wouldn’t disagree with that list mate…..maybe some of the loanee returning…a fresh start is needed…
      I believe if we can wrap up our safety quickly…. just maybe more of our younger players will kick start their careers with us….in the 1st team….

    • mighty_bluenose says:

      Would love to see Carr become part of the backroom staff.

  • Tony says:

    During yesterdays blog names were suggested for the crop of kids including Clarks Kids and Brummie babes .The latter one should be avoided at all cost as any comparison with the original Busby babes would be very unfair. very stupid, and very very Embarrassing.

  • dave mann says:

    clarks kids, lees lads, brummie babes, there all just fans getting exited
    about our crop of youngsters. compairing the brummie babes with
    the busby babes would be foolish and embarrasing but it sounds
    similar and we are all brummies not busbys so the comparison
    shouldnt be taken seriously.
    relax were just having fun in these difficult times for our club.
    ps. how about carsons youngs.( dont think that will go down to well)

  • tamuffblue says:

    The Emergence of this batch is good news indeed BUT the overiding concern must be ridding ourselves of the Oriental Barber and is Cohorts !!!!!! lets all hope lady luck prevails and we see the back of them – new and ambitious owners – investment and THEN nurture our up and coming talent !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • mark says:

    returning to my orginal question we do very much need a goalscorer in this league desperately Marlon King got 21 goals in watford season in 2005-06, but i fear he may never return to those heights again, because he may be more prone to injuries…….if sought he has a good goalscoring record with us.

    • chas says:

      Mark, having watched only a bit of his games with us, I would love to see Thomas come good..He may not be a vPersie, but he does show some talent..Ever striker misses Goalsm but he gets into position to miss them.. With a bit of coaching , time and confidence, perhaps he will do it for us.

  • dave mann says:

    ive said all along that carson and is cronies will be gone by the start of next season.
    we will invest and we will continue with our talented youngsters and take the
    championship by storm next season. BELIEVE. KRO.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    As with yesterdays statement by me, It is great news that yet, 4, more of the youngsters are offered new contracts, Add to that the trial that are being offered to the young Scottish players from Ayr untd, Hopefully adds to our hopes for the future, !!.

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    Well done to Lee and his team for snapping these up promptly before the bigger clubs start sniffing.

    Our academy and youth policy are second to none now thanks to Lees visionary approach.

    It’s a real breath of fresh air plus a potential income for the club.

  • IOB says:

    I think the seeds that are being sown of bringing the youth through this season will bear fruit next season as they will know more of what to expect from the league and be prepared for it. On a different note, Blues have offered £125,000 (thats right, actual money) + the same in addons for Caddis but Swindon want the whole lot up front, would be good to get him tied down if finances allow.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Which will clearly be the death knell for Stevie Carr’s Blues career. If we buy Caddis then I can’t see Steve being offered a new contract.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Hey Dan

    Why doesn’t OP sponsor a player next season?

    Financed b its users?

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    Lee Clark if possible

    Show our support

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    Hey Im up for anybody in a Blue shirt.

    Young lad would probably be better plus it’s a start to my long term aim of getting Dan on the board!

  • dave mann says:

    hey guys , why just the one player, why doesnt OP sponsor
    all first team squad players under21, and a manager under41.
    that would show one hell of a support dont you think. KRO.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    And now Keith Fahey out for the season. He will be a big miss. Clark has had some awful luck with injuries this season….Carr, Murph, Ambrose, Marlon and now Keith. Rubbish.

  • dave mann says:

    all us loyal supporters spend fortunes whatching blues all over the
    country( and in europe not so long ago) so a few quid here and there
    to sponsor our young talent wouldnt be a bad idea.
    on the injuries, thats football and thats why weve given youth a
    chance.. lets hope for better luck next season. KRO.

  • kirkus says:

    the good thing about young players is money has spoilt them yet,cant wait for next season will be a breath of fresh air

  • Evesham blue says:

    Pity we are not entirely safe yet this season else we would probably blood a few more in the remaining games. Although Koby has been chucked in already.

    The intent is clear. To clear the decks and build a young team. Trying to get players like caddis as well tied down. Good job we have Speakman really who has bailed Clark out this season with the production line.

    Question is – which senior players would you keep to build a team around?

    I am not going to join the LC appreciation society as I think the guy has made a lot of mistakes and the team has yet to find consistent performances but credit where credit is due. The man uses what he has got available and works tirelessly to succeed.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Without trawling through wiki to find out exactly whose contract is up I’ll just list the ones I think might be / know for sure ar and comment:

      For me I’d only keep Keith Fahey, Curtis and probably Spector as he can be a bit of a utility man. Otherwise the Pablo’s, Caldwell’s and Carr’s of the squad can be released.

      I struggled with Wade and Burke. I think Wade is a lot more technically gifted that a lot of people give him credit for. He has scored some handy goals and I’ve seen some solid dosplays from him this term. However he is geting on a bit and I think we could do better especially as I would guess he is on a fair enough wedge. Burke is someone I’d release on the assumption that Nathan stays as again I bet he is a high earner.

      I’d be curious to hear other opinions.

      • Evesham blue says:

        Not sure about fahey you know. The man went AWOL the came back when his contract was running out and then gets injured. It has to be said tho that the guy is talented and we had our best performance of the season with him in the team. Has he done enough to earn a new contract?

        Burke on form is one of the best players in the division. I would keep him.

        Wade I think is one of LC’s favourites. Plenty of young guys to do his running. Think we ar stuck with Mullins and loverkrands?

        LC did not do too well in the Bosmans dept but rather better with loans.

        Curtis I think may want to leave?

        • Ali Duncan says:

          Yeah, it wouldn’t shock me if Curtis submitted a transfer request.

          Fahey – definitely two of the best team performances of the season that I’ve seen at Boro & Palace and I think in this division he is a standout player.

          I agree that Wade is a Clark favourite and there could be some milage in keeping him for one more year.

    • Blueblueblue says:

      Credit for most of these academy lads should go to Terry Westley more than speakman ,Westley had more of an eye for talent than speakman ever did or has.

  • Evesham blue says:

    Dont get me wrong I applaud the current approach but let’s face it did we have much choice in going down this route of getting younger players for the future? They are cheaper. We have very little money. It’s all about cutting costs and hoping we uncover a prospect worth something to sell on.

    Are these youngsters any better than what other champ teams have? We haven’t really been caught out playing them in the champ yet. Could we really keep a hold of them if they were a hit? Different story if you want to aspire to greater things with no investment.

    Still it’s promising and I would rather go down this route than overpaid mercs looking for one last pay deal. Is football changing outside the prem?

  • James says:

    To a certain degree I agree with you Evesham, but these kids look the real deal. Confident, local lads that have some talent. Granted we have seen many a youngster develop through the ranks and not exactly set the world alight. However these kids will be a regular fixture next season and all add to saleable assets ( sad thing to say but if its keep’s us going as a business then so be it)

    Well done Lee Clark


  • Northern Exile says:

    While the logic of ‘Oxford City of the Conference South’ is of course flawless, unfortunately due to a surfeit of northern clubs in the Conference National (and a surfeit of northern ex-league clubs going bust), the boundaries for the Conf North have been pushed south enough to mean that Oxford City play there.

    I saw Nick make his debut actually, on a rare return to the Midlands for me. He didn’t do half bad, despite some baiting from the Moors crowd (some of whom knew him from his previous life as a youngster in Solihull) and getting caught out to concede a lob against a striker that Solihull Moors have to make a special size XXXXXL/FB shirt for. It could certainly have been more than 2-1 to the Moors if not for him.

  • Dom says:

    I thought Ryan Higgins was given a contract as well.

    • almajir says:

      He was, I didn’t add him to the article as I wrote it before I knew. Higgins is a special case, he was formerly non-contract and wasn’t in the academy.

  • tonyd says:

    Congratulations to Nick Townsend’s dad, who has posted on this site before.

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