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Six under-19s sign professional contracts

12 May 2023

L-R: Charlie Carter, Finn Flanagan, Darien Wauchope, Nigel Clough (manager), Richard Cooper (Academy manager), McKeal Abdullah, Louie Turner and Jakub Kruszynski

Mansfield Town is delighted to announce that six second-year scholars have signed their first professional contracts with the club ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

Goalkeeper Louie Turner, left-back Darien Wauchope, defensive midfielder Charlie Carter, midfielder Finn Flanagan, attacking midfielder Jakub Kruszynski and forward McKeal Abdullah have all put pen to paper.

Shot-stopper Louie Turner has enjoyed a solid campaign for Sam Collins’ under-19s, whilst gaining valuable experience training and travelling with the first team. The 18-year-old ‘keeper has produced a number of excellent displays during the course of the season.

Left-back Darien Wauchope, who can also feature at centre-back, has continued his impressive development during the course of the season, which has seen the 18-year-old named in Nigel Clough’s matchday squad for the first time in February, as a substitute in a 2-0 win at Tranmere Rovers.

Charlie Carter, who was Stags’ 2021/22 Academy Player of the Year, has made further progress following last season's accolade. The-18-year-old featured in November’s 6-1 win against Notts County in the Notts Senior Cup as the tough-tackling midfielder was named as the only under-19s’ player in the starting line-up alongside 10 senior players.

Energetic midfielder Finn Flanagan (17), has been a consistent member of a three-man midfield and has played a vital part in the engine room during the under-19s’ 2022/23 campaign, acquiring a number of assists and goals.

Attacking midfielder Jakub Kruszynski (18), who can also feature anywhere along the front line, has impressed during the under-19s’ season. The skillful youngster has proved a real threat in the final third this term.

This year’s Academy Player of the Year McKeal Abdullah has shown outstanding ability throughout the course of the season. The 17-year-old has scored over 25 goals across all competitions this term. The clinical-attacker has displayed his range of finishing this campaign, scoring long-range, short-range and weaker-foot efforts as well as heading home some decisive goals for Stags’ under-19s.

Speaking on the youngsters signing their first professional deals with the club, Academy manager Richard Cooper said: “It’s a great achievement for all of the players and a great day for the Academy.

"As Academy manager, it's one of the most pleasing days when you're able to announce this type of news.

“Days like today show the direction we’re trying to go with the Academy and the type of players we’re trying to produce.

"We're delighted that the boys are continuing their journey with us and hopefully there are some exciting times along the way."

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