Stevenage First Year Scholar Yasin Arai has been named as one of the countries stand-out Academy players by the League Football Education (LFE), recognised for both his on-and-off the pitch achievements...
'The 11’ acknowledges the football and academic progress of Under 18 players on apprenticeships at current or former English Football League (EFL) clubs - and is also designed to assess other factors, including involvement in community or charity-based initiatives.
On the pitch, Yasin had a really strong first year at Stevenage, particularly impressing with his attitude to learning and improving. The right-back turned striker has been a regular for the Under 18s and featured with the First Team reserves in the County Cup.
His approach away from football has also been highly commendable, remaining on track for a very high grade in the BTEC Extended Diploma at Marriotts School, where he has studied since Year 10. "Yasin’s attitude has been excellent this year in the classroom and now his work is reflecting this, improving considerably in terms of structure and referencing,” Tutor Ieuan Lewis told LFE.
Jorden Gibson, PDP Lead coach, added, “I cannot fault Yasin’s professionalism throughout this period. He has been completing his physical and technical programme, while providing us with regular updates on his well-being, as requested by the club.”
Seventeen-year-old Yasin has used his spare time wisely during lockdown, learning Moroccan Arabic – the language spoken by his parents – while, as a Muslim, he was also fasting during the period of Ramadan.
During the 2019-20 season, 33 apprentices have been selected for the award, which celebrates the holistic development of young players and is a barometer applied to the LFE Apprentice of the Year awards.
Former Stevenage Academy players and League Two Apprentice of the Year winners Arthur Iontton (2019) and Ben Wilmot (2018) both featured in 'The 11' prior to receiving their awards.
LFE chief executive Sarah Stephen added, “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.”
To view all 11 players to make the June shortlist, please click here.