In his latest news update from our youth section, Academy Manager Michael Hamilton told us about another international call-up for a young Wimbledon footballer.
Michael’s round-up is well worth a read as he also brings us up to date about young players signing scholarships and he reveals that the academy has teamed up with a Korean sports charity!
We at the academy are delighted to announce that centre forward Aron Sasu has been called up to attend the training camps for the Norway Under 16’s national team. Aron (third from left in the above picture) will attend the February training camp, and it’s something we feel Aron has earned. He has worked extremely hard this season in the 15/16s age-group, with his progression being rewarded with him making appearances for the academy under 18s.
Aron said: “Being called up to the Norwegian national team is a proud moment for me and my family. I’ve worked hard and it’s well to see it is paying off. I will continue to work hard so that I get more opportunities like this in the future.”
Aron joins his academy team mates Morgan Williams and Leo Castledine, who have also been selected again recently for Wales & England respectively.
We are extremely proud of all three for their hard-work up to this point and these experiences can only benefit them and the club.
We are delighted to announce that the academy has secured the signatures of some of our exciting U15s / U16 players on scholarships, which will start over the next 18 months.
The following Under 16 players will start their scholarships in the summer of 2020 and will make up next season’s U18s squad (alongside the current Under 17s):
Ethan Sutcliffe (centre back): Ethan is an intelligent defender that can also operate in midfield. He senses danger well and is confident when he has the ball at his feet.
Ben Mason (full back): Tenacious full-back who has come up through the pathway predominately as a centre back.
Abdi Alli (central midfielder): Abdi’s attitude and application is second to none and he has made a massive impression on all staff in his short time here.
Josh Hallard (full-back): Left sided full-back who likes to defend on the front foot and is equally effective in all three thirds.
The following players are Under 15s and will start their scholarships a year later in the summer of 2021, joining the 2020 crop:
Paris Lock (attacker): U15s attacking player who is able to play across the forward line.
Aron Sasu (centre forward): Aron has been with us for four seasons and has really immersed himself into the culture here at the academy.
Remi Onabanjo (wide player): Tricky little winger who is able to play either on the left or right.
I’d like to give a mention to Ben Foshuene, who has played a huge role in the recruitment of some of the boys, and to James Oliver Pearce, Hasib Saeed and Rob Tuvey, who over the last 18 months, have played a pivotal role in the development of the boys.
Pictured in the photograph above are (left to right): Hasib Saed (U16s assistant), Paris Lock, Aron Sasu, Abdi Ali, Josh Hallard and James Oliver Pearce.
The academy has been working with a Korean sports charity called Shoot for Love, which is well known for their charitable sports contents both in Korea and internationally.
Many world famous football personalities such as Jurgen Klopp, Carles Puyol, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Harry Kane have participated in past contents to raise funds for causes, and this year the academy were asked to work with the charity to raise its profile over in the UK, whilst at the same time, raising the AFC Wimbledon profile in Asia.
The collaboration has been a great success with four videos being uploaded to the charity's official channel, being seen by over 4 million viewers.
The videos feature training sessions which were hosted by myself and Jack Matthews (Lead Foundation Phase Coach), as well as a game featuring our own Under 12s. Take a look below at the videos.