Here we take a look at some of the players who have come through the youth ranks at The Lamex Stadium:
George Boyd is the most high profile name to have come through the Stevenage youth ranks in recent history. After being released by Charlton Athletic as a youngster, George joined the club’s then EFCO scheme in 2001 and quickly transformed from a promising youngster into the hottest property in the Conference with a string of simply outstanding and often outrageous performances in a Boro shirt.
After over 100 appearances and 23 goals for Boro, Boyd moved to Peterborough United in January 2007 for a then-Conference record of £260,000. George went on to make over 250 appearances for Posh over 6 seasons, scoring 64 goals and helping them to three promotions.
After loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Hull City – the latter where he helped win the Tigers promotion from the Championship - Boyd signed permanently at the KC Stadium in 2013 and has since played in the Premier League for Hull City and Burnley over 80 times. Despite being capped for England C team earlier in his career, Boyd has also won two caps for the Scotland national team.
Jack Midson was another product of the youth ranks at Stevenage, making his debut in 2001 and going on to make 13 appearances for Stevenage, scoring once. Spells – loan and permanent - at various non-league clubs aided his development and after scoring 20 times in 2008/09 for Histon in the Conference Premier, Jack earned himself a move to Oxford United. He featured heavily for the U’s the following season, helping them to promotion from the Conference, and has since found the back of the net regularly in spells at AFC Wimbledon and Eastleigh.
Shaun Batt was another graduate of the former EFCO scheme and was rewarded with his break in the first team by Graham Westley in 2005. His combination of sheer pace and power made him an attractive prospect but it was only after a number of loan spells in non-league that he got his break. That came in 2008 when he signed for Peterborough United, making 60 appearances for the London Road-based club. He has since played for Millwall, Crawley and most recent Leyton Orient where he has carved out a good reputation as an attacking force in the Football League.
Sam Hatton came through the ranks at Stevenage FC and was another to make his debut in 2005. A change in management saw Hatton eventually move on from Broadhall Way and Sam has since carved out an excellent career at primarily the top division of non-league football. He played 197 times for AFC Wimbledon and helped them reach the Football League, before moving to Grimsby and making it to successive play-off semi-finals. He now plies his trade at Aldershot Town and has represented the England C team on a number of occasions.
Joseph N’Guessan is a graduate of the Stevenage FC U18s whom he fired to the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup in 2012/13 with a number of goals and a string of impressive performances. He made his full Stevenage FC debut in the final game of 2012/3, putting in a bright performance against MK Dons and then signed his first professional deal. In 13/14 he enjoyed a successful loan spell at Arlesey Town before returning to first team action towards the end of 2013/14, scoring his first Football League goal against Walsall in April 2014. After his breakthrough at Stevenage, Joseph joined Queens Park Rangers Under-21 squad.
Fejiri Okenabirhie signed his first professional contract at Stevenage FC in the summer of 2014. The former Arsenal youngster joined Boro’s youth set-up in 2012 and was central to their FA Youth Cup run in 12/13, during which he scored five goals. In 2013/14 season he was moved up front from a wide position and responded with 35 goals in all competitions for the youth team, whilst also enjoying a short yet successful loan spell at Bedford Town. Fejiri made his full Stevenage debut against Bristol City in April 2014. After a spell at Harrow Borough in 15/16, Fejiri joined National League Premier side Dagenham & Redbridge in June 2016.
Rohdell Gordon signed his first professional contract at Stevenage FC in the summer of 2014. The creative midfielder, who was equally as effective out wide and up front for the Club’s U18 squad in 13/14, made his debut away at Sheffield United in April 2014 and went on to make two further appearances, including his full home debut against Bristol City just three days later. During his two years as a scholar he helped the U18s reach the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup for the first time in the Club’s history with a string of impressive performances. Rohdell spent the majority of 14/15 on loan at Conference South side Chelmsford City during which he made 36 appearances, scored four goals and provided nine assists.
made Stevenage history when he made his Football League debut on the final day of 13/14 season against Brentford at the age of 17 years and 215 days. The young defender only joined the club in 2013 from West Brom on a two-year scholarship, however his impressive performances with the U18s and first team saw the youngster rewarded with a professional deal a year early with the club believing the youngster has a bright future.
Youth team captain Ben Kennedy
made his debut for Stevenage against Oxford in January 2015. Arriving at the club as a central-midfielder, Ben featured more further forward for the U18s in 14/15, leading them to the third round of the FA Youth Cup against Everton and scoring 14 goals. His dedication and spirit caught the eye of the first team management and the exciting Northern Irish youth international took his first team opportunities with a number of eye-catching performances. In 17 appearances in the latter stages of the season he scored four goals - two goals on his debut at Hartlepool, a winner at home to Southend and a coolly taken winning penalty at Cheltenham - but it was his overall play and enthusiasm which really caught the eye. Injury disrupted the first half of 15/16 but Ben was still able to make 25 appearances, scoring three goals.
signed his first professional deal in 2015. The Northern Irish youth international joined Stevenage as a scholar in 2013 and quickly earned a reputation as a tough tackling midfielder with an eye for goal. His inspirational performances helped the Stevenage U18s to their best ever league and cup season in 2014/15, leading to the young midfielder to sign his first pro deal. He went on to make 14 appearances for Stevenage in his debut season.
signed his first professional deal with Stevenage FC in July 2015. The 18-year old striker struck six times for the Under-18s in the second half of 14/15 after signing from Potters Bar Town. He caught the attention of manager Teddy Sheringham during pre-season and was rewarded with a pro contract. Dipo went on to make 16 appearances in 15/16, scoring his first Football League goal at Newport in August 2015.
Stevenage signed second-year scholar Jack Storer on a professional contract in September 2015. The 17-year attacking midfielder impressed for the Under-18s in 2014/15 and was named on the bench in two League Two games. Jack then made his professional and Football League debut as a late sub at Leyton Orient in August, aged just 17 years and 229 days. In April 2016, Stevenage agreed an undisclosed five-figure fee with Birmingham City for Jack.
George Casey signed his first professional deal in summer 2015. The Enfield-born youngster came through the Stevenage FC Academy and impressed with his work and commitment on and off the pitch during his two-year scholarship. Extremely athletic, George is comfortable playing at full-back or midfield and has scored a number of important goals for the U18s, as well as helping the U18s reach the third round of the FA Youth Cup in 14/15. George spent the majority of the 2015/16 season on loan at Chesham United and St Neots Town.
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signed his first professional deal in May 2016. The tough tackling Northern Irish youth international excelled during his two-year scholarship and proved equally capable at full-back or in midfield. He was part of the Under-18 squad that reached the third round of the FA Youth Cup for two successive seasons and was named on the first team bench on a number of occasions in 15/16.
Exciting winger Louis Yamfam came through the youth ranks at The Lamex Stadium and earned a scholarship in 2014 after his impressive performances. The youngster, who possessed pace, tricky and an eye for goal, twice helped Stevenage to the third round of the FA Youth Cup during his time as a scholar and attracted the attention of various Premier League and Championship clubs with impressive performances for the Under-18s. Louis signed for Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed fee in May 2016.
Mark McKee became the latest talented youngster to have turned professional having coming through the Stevenage FC Academy when he signed his first pro deal in July 2016. The 17-year old striker, who has represented Northern Ireland at Under-19 level, joined Boro as a scholar in summer 2015 from Cliftonville for an undisclosed fee. He then impressed during several first team friendlies this summer in a centre-midfield role.