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First-Year scholars announced

13 July 2012

Director of Youth Mike Dove will have an exciting crop of players to work with in his Under-18 age group next season after offering out seven apprenticeship deals.

Remy Forrester, Harry Hickford, Will Summerfield, Kelvin Osei-Addo, Jon Osae, Ben Grant and Brendan Galloway, who made his first team debut aged 16, and Dele Alli, who was named on the bench for the first team last year, will form the first-year scholars for the 2012/13 season. 

The talented players are already well known to MK Dons supporters after impressing in showcase games at stadiummk at Under-15 and Under-16 level. 

Dove hopes the group will continue to develop and improve their football, if they do he believes that in two years time when a decision is made on whether they have the potential to turn profession the first team manager will have a difficult selection to make.

The head of the Dons' successful Academy set-up said: "The first year apprentices have been together as a group for a long time, I coached them for a while when they were Under-12s and realised we have a wide range of ability in the group. 

"There is a bit of pressure on them, when you put them in the spotlight with showcase games - which we deliberately did - they have to face the challenges. This Club is stepping up, it's moving places and we want to make sure these boys are ready for it. 

"This is a very exciting group, Dan Micciche has worked with them for a while and done a great job with them, he has brought them on leaps and bounds. My job is to help them adapt to the full-time environment and to make sure they have all the tools that will help them succeed as professionals."

The first-year apprentices will link up with Charlie Burns, Mo Ahmed, Leon Lobjoit, Mason Spence - the second-year apprentices - to form this season's Under-18s team. 

"I am very enthused about the team next season; we have a small group of second years. Charlie came in late but has taken really well to it and Mo has been with us since he was younger and Leon was with us when he was younger, joining Leicester but coming back to us when he was 14. Mason has had an up and down year, he came in from local football at 15 so it has taken him a while to adapt but towards the end of the season he was fantastic. 

"They have already had a lot of exposure to Under-18s and development games and I am excited to see how they step up."

It will be an exciting year in the Academy as they learn to adapt to the new Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) which has seen a revamp of youth football at all levels. 

The Under 18s pre-season schedule is as follows:

14th July - Stevenage (Away); 11am K.O.
25th July - Wolverton (Away); 7.30pm K.O.
28th July - Q.P.R (Away); 10.45am K.O.
1st August - Ampthill (Away); 7.30pm K.O.
4th August - Barnet (Away); 11am K.O.

The new season for the Under 18s begins on Saturday 11th August with fixtures still to be announced.

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