Young Magpies Are Flying! Maidenhead Academy Is Thriving

Maidenhead United’s future is clearly in safe hands as their academy’s production line of talent continues to deliver the goods.

The Vanarama National League club are once again growing their own as they provide a platform for young stars to showcase their skills.

Wolves captain Max Kilman will certainly agree with that statement after the Premier League star spent three years as a teenager learning the game at York Road after being picked up from Welling United.

Josh Kelly signed for Solihull Moors for a reported six figure sum in 2022 but fans have no need to fear - there’s more starlets coming through.

From the academy the Magpies have had three players signed on to contracts. Coach Aaron O’Brien is excited about what’s ahead for them and for the club as they look to provide the platform needed for the youngster to excel.

He told us: “At Maidenhead we have a manager in Alan Devonshire who believes in giving young players an opportunity. We integrate our players into training at an early stage to expose them to the National League environment.

“As the first team coach and Academy manager there is a clear link and pathway between the academy and first team which helps with the transition of these young players.

“We have a number of talented players coming through the academy who we hope can follow in the footsteps of our current academy successes. It’s vital for the club and of course the players within the community.”

Reece Smith is one to watch after fantastic form in the past few months. His coach added: “He started with our U16 team and progressed into the U19 academy and started training with the first team at the age of 17.

“Reece signed his first contract with the club at the age of 18 and has gone onto make over 80 appearances for Maidenhead United and is currently having his most prolific season. But it’s not just him.

“Bradley Keetch joined the academy from Reading at the age of 16 and displayed his quality straight away, Bradley was an integral part of our successful FA Youth Cup journey where we played Nottingham Forest. Bradley has started 5 games this season weighing in with 2 goals away at Oldham and Barnet.

“Christian Johnson finished top goal scorer for the academy for two season in a row scoring over 35 goals which earned him his first contract for Maidenhead United. At 17 Christian joined local side Holyport at Step 5 where he scored 13 goals.

"This season he made his debut for the first team away at Oxford United in the FA Cup. He is currently on loan at Thatcham Town.”

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