Date:Sunday June 30 2013
Leeds United look to be building for the future with a number of promising youngsters coming through the academy in recent seasons.
Last season, Sam Byram took the championship by storm after impressing during pre-season. The 19-year-old made 53 consecutive appearances before missing the last two games of the season. He walked away with all the main prizes at the end of season awards dinner and he looks to have a great future, hopefully at Leeds.
So who do you think will be this seasons Sam Byram?
We have two young goalkeepers who are going to be most probably third and fourth choice.
Alex Cairns had a brief taste of first team football in 2011 in difficult circumstances but he had a highly successful season long loan last season at Stalybridge Celtic.
Eric Grimes signed his first professional deal towards the end of last season after helping the under-18 side win their domestic division and he was one of all five of the second year scholars at the academy to be given professional deals.
Young defender Ross Killock enjoyed three months on loan at Alfreton Town last season and he was included on the bench in the final game of the season at Watford.
Lewis Turner had a couple of loan spells away from Leeds last season, he had a very successful spell with Chester, and he scored the goal that clinched them the Blue Square Conference North Championship.
Twin brother Nathan also impressed at Chester and he won a number of man of the match awards.
Midfielder Zac Thompson spent most of the season on loan at Bury and he won their young player of the year, making almost 40 appearances for the League One strugglers. Thompson would have started the last game of the season at Watford only for the Football League to block his appearance,
Highly regarded midfielder Chris Dawson travelled with the squad to a number of games last season and he made his first and only appearance as he started the home game with Derby County in April. He showed glimpses of what he is capable of before being substituted just past the hour. He also made his international bow with the Welsh under-21 squad.
Strikers Luke Parkin and Lewis Walters both signed their first professional contract towards the end of last season. The duo were both regulars for the under-18 side and development squad, with both players reaching double figures for goals as the under-18 side won their league.
Midfielder and captain of the under-18 side Alex Mowatt also signed his first professional contract towards the end of last season. Like Parkin and Walters, Mowatt was a regular for the development squad as well as the under 18`s and he hit double figures from midfield.
Finally, Dominic Poleon broke into the first team under Neil Warnock last season and he was unlucky not to be given more chances by the manager, who despite the success of Byram, he seemed more interested sticking with his favourite past their sell by date players than giving youth a chance.
Poleon made eight appearances for Leeds, scoring in his only start against Nottingham Forest as well as against Watford on the final day of the season when he was an early substitute.
The young striker also enjoyed successful loan spells with Bury and Sheffield United.
So who will make it in the first team this season?
The question is our latest poll on Vital Leeds.
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Date:Sunday June 30 2013
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