Joe Neal named in the LFE 11.
Youth team captain Joe has been a regular in LFE’s Goal of the Month, appearing three times already during his apprenticeship and is currently enjoying a particularly purple patch in front of goal, with seven goals in eight games.
The second-year apprentice has also focused heavily on his education, gaining 11 distinctions in his first year, followed by distinctions in four units so far in his second, while completing 22 of the 23 units on his NVQ ahead of schedule.
Regional Officer Darren Bloodworth said: “Joe continues to push ahead of the group. He deserves a lot of praise for how hard he works, supported by his excellent research skills and his ability to convey his knowledge in his written work.
“The only unit remaining for him to achieve his NVQ is a public appearance, which he will be performing during December. On the pitch, it’s pleasing to see that his hard work for the team is being rewarded with goals and assists.”
The on and off the pitch achievements of 11 young footballers has been recognised by League Football Education (LFE). ‘The 11’ acknowledges the football and academic progress of Under-18 players on apprenticeships at current or former English Football League (EFL) clubs - and is also designed to assess other factors, including involvement in community or charity-based initiatives.
This accolade celebrates the holistic development of young players, a barometer which is also applied to the LFE Apprentice of the Year Awards presented at The EFL Awards dinner in April. England Under-20 World Cup winners Ademola Lookman (formerly Charlton Athletic), Dael Fry (Middlesbrough), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (formerly Sheffield United) and Lewis Cook (formerly Leeds United) have all previously been named in ‘The 11’.
Everton forward Lookman and AFC Bournemouth midfielder Cook also went on to become Apprentice of the Year winners, as did Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham) and Watford’s Ben Wilmot (formerly Stevenage), who were both featured prior to picking up the 2018 awards in the Sky Bet Championship and Sky Bet League Two, respectively.
Others to previously appear in this select group include Leeds United’s Jamie Shackleton, Swansea City striker Oli McBurnie (formerly Bradford City) and England Under-17 World Cup winners Steven Sessegnon (Fulham) and Billy Crellin (Fleetwood Town).
The 11 – May 2018:
• Reuben Collins (AFC Wimbledon)
• Ben Forrest (Birmingham City)
• Joe Adams (Bury)
• Joe Neal (Cambridge United)
• Jared Wild (Chesterfield)
• Jordan Adebayo-Smith (Lincoln City)
• Tyla Dickinson (QPR)
• Dan Adshead (Rochdale)
• Tom Pugh (Scunthorpe United)
• Marcus Dewhurst (Sheffield United)
• Daniel Ojo (Yeovil Town)
LFE chief executive Sarah Stephen added: “The 11 is directly associated with apprentice reviews that are conducted by our regional officers throughout the season. It is a great way to highlight the achievements and progression of talented young footballers who apply themselves to all aspects of their apprenticeship.”
For in-depth profiles on all of the players named in ‘The 11’ for December, please visit the LFE website.