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Hayward joy as six offered deals

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: April 22, 2012

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SIMON Hayward hailed Exeter City's current under-18s side as the best the club has seen, after six youngsters were offered professional contracts for next season.

Striker Jamie Reid, winger Jake Gosling, midfielders Jacob Cane and Ollie Knowles and defenders Jordan Moore-Taylor and Jake Wannell are all in line to join Paul Tisdale's first team for pre-season training in July after impressing in the Grecians' youth ranks this season.

Before that, they will bid to help City win the Football League Alliance Cup final against Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday, May 1 at St James's Park.

And head of youth Hayward says he is delighted to see his youngsters enjoy so much success.

He said: "The under-18s squad we have had this year are probably the best we have ever had.

"While it's great that as a team they have got good results and got through to a national cup final, the real success comes when they get offered professional contracts.

"I'm delighted for the team and the way they played football this year, but far more than that I'm really, really delighted that so many of these young lads are going to have an opportunity to make a career for themselves in professional football, hopefully starting in our first team at Exeter City."

Despite having not yet been offered professional contracts, midfielders Jamie Micklewright and Luke Roper will have the opportunity to return for pre-season training with the Grecians this summer after suffering injury-hit seasons this term.

However goalkeeper Jake Viney will be released at the end of the current campaign.

While Hayward admitted he was sad to see Viney leave, he was full of praise for under-18 manager Kwame Ampadu and the rest of his coaches for the work they have done with this year's side.

Hayward said: "Jake is a bright young man and a great character who has always worked very hard. He has always put the effort in and I couldn't really have asked much more of him.

"He has just fallen a little short in terms of the level required.

"These boys have been with us from the under-9s so have spent 10 years with the club. They have been fantastic servants to the club.

"Thanks to the boys and the parents for the effort they have put in, and also to the centre of excellence coaches.

"A lot of thanks and credit also has to go to Kwame Ampadu for the work he has done with them over the last two years, working with the team on a daily basis."

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