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'Bags of running' for West Brom's academy players

Sport | Published:

Eight more youngsters have signed new professional deals with West Brom as under-21s boss James Shan promised them 'bags of running' in pre-season.

Earlier this week Jonathan Leko and Sam Field signed contracts with the Baggies after making their first team debuts at the end of last season.

Now Irish defender Dara O'Shea has signed a two-year deal, while Tahvon Campbell, Andre Wright, Shaun Donnellan, Joe Ward, Jack Fitzwater and Kyle Edwards have all signed one-year contracts.

The Baggies have taken up the one-year option on Kyle Howkins' deal.

The academy players have been in training this week and when Shan was asked what they could expect from pre-season he said with a smile: "Bags of running!

"We use pre-season like most clubs do to get the boys in peak condition, but also put a lot of tactical work in there as well.

"We strike the balance, making sure the boys get all the physical needs but also shaping our playing style during pre-season. It's a great time to lay the foundations."

The first team squad and head coach Tony Pulis are due back at the training ground on Monday, July 4 before they head out to a fitness camp in Austria three days later.

Many of the youngsters will be eyeing up pre-season as the perfect time to catch the eye.

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Several academy players went on pre-season tour last summer and players like Leko, Field and Tyler Roberts will all be hoping to go this year too.

"Last year was maybe a little bit more circumstantial," said Shan. "The numbers we had required some of the lads to go away.

"But it's a fantastic opportunity to be involved in the first team.

"There may be an opportunity for some to go to Austria. It's a good chance to get in front of the gaffer."

Albion's under-21 squad for 2016/17: Ethan Ross, Jasko Keranovic, Alex Palmer, Danny Barbir, Tahvon Campbell, Shaun Donnellan, Kyle Edwards, Zack Elbouzedi, Sam Field, Jack Fitzwater, Kyle Howkins, Callam Jones, Jonathan Leko, Robbie McCourt, Callum Pritchatt, Tyler Roberts, Chay Scrivens,James Smith, Brad Sweeney, Joe Ward, Andre Wright.

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