Five Shots youngsters have graduated from the Academy and have been given professional contracts!
Ashley Akpan, George Milner-Smith, Mason Obeng, Oliver Lahtinen-Kalsi and Oliver Turner are the five new first-team squad members and you can see a profile on each of them and hear from them further below.
First-Team Manager Tommy Widdrington said: “All of the young lads that have been pushed towards the first-team group have not disappointed me.”
“In fact they have all had very positive experiences – Terry does a fantastic job in both spotting the boys and then furthering their individual development by firstly joining our group then getting them into senior football locally.”
“I genuinely hope one or two force my hand as we go forward this season.”
Academy Manager Richard Anderson added: “I am delighted for Ashley, George, Mason, Ollie and Ollie – all five boys demonstrated high and consistent levels of performance throughout last season, and have earnt their contracts with the Club.”
“Each of them brought real quality to a highly successful under 21s and this is just reward for their hard work and commitment. “
“These young players have now made their first steps in becoming professional footballers with Aldershot Town FC and deserve to thoroughly enjoy this moment!”
“Their challenge now is to continue their progress and further push themselves to reach even greater levels of performance in the demanding environment of senior football.”
Ashley Akpan is a 19-year-old right-back who likes to get forward and contribute to attacks. He came through the youth ranks at Chelsea and was born in Poland. He had a brief spell in Poland after leaving Chelsea before joining the Shots. Akpan scored in Aldershot’s Hampshire Senior Cup win over Sholing and is currently on loan at Hartley Wintney.
You can watch Akpan’s first interview HERE
George Milner-Smith is a centre-back who has spent the 23/24 pre-season with Tommy Widdrington and the first-team. The 19-year-old was a first-team unused substitute on a couple of occasions in the 22/23 season.
You can watch Milner-Smith’s first interview HERE
Mason Obeng is an attack-minded central midfielder. He made his competitive Shots debut in the 4-1 FA Trophy Fourth Round win over Leiston and was key part of the young Hampshire Senior Cup side that reached the semi-finals. The 19-year-old is currently on loan at Hartley Wintney.
You can watch Obeng’s first interview HERE
Oliver Lahtinen-Kalsi is a central-defender and former captain of the Academy Under 21s. The 19-year-old was an unused substitute in the Vanarama National League when Maidenhead visited the EBB Stadium and captained the young Shots side in last season’s Hampshire Senior Cup semi-final. Lahtinen-Kalsi is currently on loan at Ascot FC.
You can watch Lahtinen-Kalsi’s first interview HERE
Oliver Turner is a central midfielder who joined the Shots from Tottenham Hotspur. The 19-year-old has trained with the first-team on a number of occasions and played a key role in the young Shots side that reached the Hampshire Senior Cup semi-finals. Turner is currently on loan at Hertford Town.
You can watch Turner’s first interview HERE
Good luck to all the young lads and we look forward to watching their progress and hopefully see them in Shots colours soon!