The vast majority of the boys are all local players, with a couple of exceptions.BCFC
Here, Steve Spooner, Blues' Lead Professional Development Coach, provides a short insight on each outfield player.
Matt Doyle, Blues' Academy Head of Goalkeeping, gives us his view on Blues' shot-stoppers.
Most of the youngsters enjoyed a signing evening and welcome meal with their families at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium before pre-season began.
The vast majority of the boys are all local players, with a couple of exceptions.
Josh Andrews - Forward
He had a fantastic last season. He’s been away with the Under-23s and started their first game this season. The very fact he has trained with the Development Squad suggests he’s heading in the right direction. You wouldn’t say there's big things expected of him as such this year because he’s a First Year Scholar. You look at him and think he’s a man, but he’s a boy inside really. He has still got to go through all of that stage as well. But in terms of the graph, he is heading in the right direction, still with work to do.
Tate Campbell - Defender/midfielder
He has started off pre-season very well. He can play in defence or midfield. Where he is at the moment he’s a better midfield player. Tate’s is like the lad at Chelsea, the big midfield player John Obi Mikel. He gets it, passes it, breaks play up and protects the ball well. And he is strong in the challenge.
Adan George - Forward
Adan is very quick, very powerful and needs to recognise that is his strength. It’s about using his strengths and imposing himself on the opponents. But he is capable of scoring goals. He is very direct. He has to work on the technical side of the game, like a lot of the boys.
Nico Gordon - Defender/midfielder
He can play anywhere across the back and midfield. He’s currently at centre-half. He’s an excellent reader of the game. He steps in and can find passes. He played for the 18s last year and has started this season very well.
Kyle Hurst - Midfielder/forward
He ended the season with us. He did very well against Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup. He also performed well against Manchester United at the stadium at the end of the season. So much so that Richard Beale really liked him and catapulted him straight into the Under-23s environment. He’s a wonderful technician. He has great dribbling skills, great receiving skills. Very attack-minded and can deliver good crosses, but he must become more consistent with his end product.
Nick Kinina - Defender
Nick is another who can play anywhere across the back four. Tenacious, he has a great attitude. He needs to work on the tactical and technical side of the game. But he’s a no-nonsense player. He never hides, never quits. He’s got a great heart. There’s a lot of raw potential in there.
Kai Knight - Defender
He only recently came into us. He’s a real project. He’s 6ft 7in, left-footed – there’s not too many of them around. He has got a lot of work to do on the training field but he knows that and is prepared to do it. Centre-half.
Lucas Powell - Defender
He’s a left-back. He’s a good footballer, an intelligent footballer. Lucas uses the ball well and likes to get forward. He has lots of potential to come.
Oumar Traore - Forward
He’s a French boy. He was recommended to us. He’s come over and shown himself a little bit of a throwback to an old style centre-forward. He’s no-nonsense, runs the channels and has a real desire to win. Over and above all, he can finish.
Josh Bradley-Hurst - Goalkeeper
We signed him from Celtic. He was there for a good few years. The opportunity came up to get him in. He’s a good kid, works very hard. He’s very quick around the goal and is good in the air. He’s got a good pair of hands, a good goalie.
Ben Haywood - Goalkeeper
He was signed here at 14. A local boy. He had a good end to last season. He’s very hard-working, he wants to get better. Ben is confident on both feet, he can mix his game up on both feet. He’s a good shot-stopper he’s got a save in him. At 6ft 1in he’s got a nice frame about him.
Blues Under-18s get their league campaign underway on Saturday, 18 August at Cardiff City. Their first home match, at the Trillion Trophy Training Centre, Wast Hills, is on Saturday, 25 August (12 noon), against Charlton Athletic.