This is a new feature where we talk about the youngsters who are the future of Leeds United. We will look at certain individuals and give you more details about them.

Leeds United have always been known to produce good young talent. Names such as Alan Smith, Gary Kelly, Fabian Delph and Johnny Howson all came through the Leeds youth set up and proved to be big success in England’s top flight, some are still plying their trade in the Premier League this very day.

So we felt it necessary to talk about the next crop of Leeds youngsters that will hopefully go on to become big players. Last season saw the introduction of Sam Byram. He like many before had just signed his first professional contract with the club he had been at for some years. Sam became an instant success and at the end of season awards swept up every single award, showing what the Leeds academy still has to offer and the vital role it plays in moving Leeds forward as a club. Others such as Dom Poleon and Chris Dawson have followed in Sam’s footsteps and gone on to make their professional debuts after coming through the Leeds academy.

The current young professionals, who are in their first year as professionals are:

Eric Grimes- Goalkeeper

Alex Mowatt- Midfielder

Luke Parkin- Striker

Lewis Walters- Striker

The first player to talk about is Eric Grimes. Eric signed his first professional contract with Leeds in March 2012. He has played the majority of his games for the Under-18’s but has made a handful of appearances for Neil Readfearn’s Under-21 squad. He has already represented Ireland at youth level. Grimes is held in very high regard at Leeds by Under-18’s boss Richard Naylor and by Neil Readfearn. Hopefully Eric can continue to grow as a player and keep learning more from the professionals at the club and one day will make his Leeds debut.

The Under- 18’s were crowned Northern Champions last season, which shows that the future is hopeful, as far as our academy goes, and that Richard Naylor is doing a fine job helping our youngsters grow into very good players.

Check out our next article where we will be focussing on Alex Mowatt, Luke Parkin and Lewis Walters.

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