Date: 1st July 2008 at 3:55pm
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12 Young Lions have been rewarded for a successful Academy/Reserve season with contracts. It looks like the next crop are well on their way.

Academy stars include U18 skipper Ciaran Clark, Barry Bannan and the Aussie pair Chris Herd and Shane Lowry.

Jordon Collins did enough to impress and deserve longer, despite spending last season on the treatment table.

Jordan Collins – monthly rolling
Chris Herd – 2 yrs
Jonathan Hogg – 2 yrs
Shane Lowry – 2 yrs
Tobias Mikaelsson – 1 yr
Same Williams – 1 yr
Marc Albrighton – 2 yrs
Barry Bannan – 2 yrs
Ciaran Clark – 2 yrs
Elliot Parish – 1 yr
Matthew Roome – 1 yr
Sam Simmonds – 1 yr

Most fans will find Barry Bannan the most notable name in that list, after a season full of rave reviews and eye catching displays.

The Scot won Player of the Tournament by a lcear margin at both the Hong Kong Sevens and during the club’s summer tour of Germany.

In other Academy news, the following friendlies have been announced and the Young Lions kick off the 2008-09 season with a home friendly against Doncaster Rovers on August 2nd.

Both the U18 and U16 face Rovers and kick off is at 12pm. (noon, afternoon, midday, my breakfast – whichever makes more sense).

The U18’s also play Plymouth Argyle at Bodymoor Heath on Aug 9th (kick off is 1pm), while the U16’s face Newport County (kick off 11am).