'They are proper poster boys for our academy'

Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe
Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe

For a club following a strategy focused on youth, it is hugely rewarding to see our young stars making big strides forward in their careers.

So it felt like a landmark moment when Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka both scored for the senior England team in the recent international break, and Aaron Ramsdale keep a clean sheet on his debut in the same game.

"We have to be really proud of that as a whole club, because it's not just one person who is responsible for that - it's the whole club," our technical director, Edu, said. 

"There are a lot of people involved across the organisation โ€“ from Hale End, the academy, coaching and performance staff, the medical team and all the other areas should be proud. 

"We should be really proud because bringing through young players is part of our DNA and it's our strategy as a club is to give young players a chance and help them fulfil their potential. 

"So when we see players like Emile and Bukayo as internationals, that's even better. All the young players who are at Hale End now can see that too โ€“ they are proper poster boys for the academy."

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