Rovers starlet Isaac Whitehall’s on and off the pitch achievements have been recognised by League Football Education (LFE), along with 10 other young footballers.
‘The 11’ acknowledges the football and academic progress of Under-18 players on apprenticeships at current or former EFL clubs.
During the 2019-20 season, 33 apprentices will be selected for the award, which celebrates the holistic development of young players and is a barometer applied to the LFE Apprentice of the Year accolade, which has been won by the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Lewis Cook, Ademola Lookman, Oli McBurnie and Ryan Sessegnon in recent years.
Whitehall, 17, found school work challenging prior to joining the apprenticeship, but has worked diligently to complete the ASE framework, including both English and Maths at Level 2, which surpasses his entry qualifications.
The versatile youngster, who can play in defence or midfield, has also made excellent progress in his football development. The Under-18s captain has skippered the side to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup and signed his first professional contract with the club in January. He has also been a regular for Rovers Under-23s.
LFE Regional Officer, Craig Skinner, said: “Isaac has embraced the support provided to progress to achieving merits on the course. He has also completed the Level 2 Certificate in Coaching. He should be commended for the way he has approached his education programme and has achieved highly from his entry start point.”
Rovers’ Head of Education & Welfare, Neil Chadwick, added: “Over the course of the apprenticeship and participating in various life skills programmes, Isaac’s communication and leadership skills have significantly improved. This has enabled him to become an integral member of the Under-18s squad, leading by example and demanding high standards of others around him. We should celebrate the progress he has made in his personal development and the impact this has had on and off the pitch.”
LFE Chief Executive, Sarah Stephen, said: “The 11 is directly associated with apprentice reviews that are conducted by our regional officers throughout the season. It is a great way to highlight the achievements and progression of talented young footballers who apply themselves to all aspects of their apprenticeship.”
The 11 – March 2020:
- Okem Chime (Barnet)
- Isaac Whitehall (Blackburn Rovers)
- Jake Hutchinson (Colchester United)
- Eiran Cashin (Derby County)
- Sam Long (Lincoln City)
- Michael Statham (Nottingham Forest)
- Harrison Burrows (Peterborough United)
- Jarvis Cleal (Plymouth Argyle)
- Joe Nolan (Preston North End)
- Tom Collins (Scunthorpe United)
- Joe Gelhardt (Wigan Athletic)
For in-depth profiles on all of the players named in ‘The 11’ for March, please visit the LFE website.