MK Dons can announce their latest intake of scholars ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
Joshua Adepoju, Kyle Boyce, Edwin Daffern, Isaac Olaleye, Corvell Pickering, Charlie Stirland, Callum Tripp and Albert Wood have all begun a two-year apprenticeship period with MK Dons.
They join second-years Jacob Anderson, Joel Anker, Tommy Blennerhassett, Jediah Bombo, Dani Lucas, Liam Mann, Ronnie Sandford and Charlie Waller to form John Bitting’s Under-18s side for the 2022/23 season.
The Club can also confirm the departure of Tobi Ogundega, who has signed professional terms with Sutton United. Edward Gyamfi’s time with the Academy has also come to an end but the youngster has been invited back to train with the first-team.
Brooklyn Ilunga and Lewis Johnson, who signed professional contracts with MK Dons prior to the end of their apprenticeships, have moved across to Liam Manning’s first-team squad on a full-time basis.
Academy Manager Jon Goodman told mkdons.com: “Offering scholarships to our Under-16s is a collective decision where we sit down as an Academy staff and evaluate each individual player.
“Ultimately, we have to decide whether we can see a player affecting the first-team in the future and having a professional football career, while bearing in mind that some will be early developers and others will need a little bit more time.
“This season we have offered scholarships to players within our Academy but also some to those from outside the Club in areas where we felt we were missing. We are happy and excited by the potential in the group that we have and we are looking forward to seeing how they can develop over the next two years.”
Lead Development Phase Coach John Bitting added: “The group have settled in well together and they’ve made a positive start to pre-season.
“Quite a few of the boys have joined us from other clubs so we’ve spent pre-season working to embed them into the Club and the group. For some, that will happen quickly but for others, particularly those who have moved away from family, it can take some time. Once we get into a routine and get into habits, it will become easier for them.
“There is also the demands of moving into a full-time environment from a physical and mental point of view – double-sessions, off-the-pitch work and all while balancing their education and football apprenticeship.”
MK Dons Under-18s squad – 2022/23 season
Joshua Adepoju – First-year
Jacob Anderson - Second-year
Joel Anker - Second-year
Tommy Blennerhassett - Second-year
Jediah Bombo - Second-year
Kyle Boyce – First-year
Edwin Daffern – First-year
Dani Lucas – Second-year
Liam Mann - Second-year
Isaac Olaleye – First-year
Corvell Pickering – First-year
Ronnie Sandford – Second-year
Charlie Stirland – First-year
Callum Tripp – First-year
Charlie Waller - Second-year
Albert Wood – First-year