Leeds United youngster Tom Pearce says there is plenty more talent to come through from the academy after recently breaking into the first team.
The 20-year-old has broken into the first team in the past month and he scored his first senior goal against Barnsley on Saturday in just his third first-team appearance.
Pearce hasn’t looked overawed since coming into the team and he says head coach Paul Heckingbottom has helped his transition from the development squad to first-team action.
“The gaffer has given me loads of confidence and the Academy and first team lads have been class with me,” Pearce told the Leeds United official website.
“The Academy has some good players, the Under-18s have also won the league, so there is a lot of talent coming through.
“At the start of every season the aim is to try and get into the first team, luckily I have been able to stay in and around it for the last two months.”
Pearce has been joined in the first team by goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and fellow defender Paudie O’Connor since March and all three have been consistent in their high levels of performance having been given their chance after a number of injuries to the first team squad.
Despite being around the first team since 2016, 21-year-old Peacock-Farrell has become the regular number one goalkeeper since early March and he has already walked away with a number of man of the match performances.
His start against Barnsley on Saturday was his ninth consecutive appearance and he is keeping out of the team the more experienced Felix Wiedwald and Andy Lonergan.
20-year-old O’Connor arrived at Elland Road last year from League of Ireland side Limerick, with Leeds beating off competition from a number of Premier League clubs for his signature.
O’Connor made his debut earlier this month after a number of injuries at the heart of the Leeds defence. He has now made five consecutive appearances despite the recent return to full fitness of Matthew Pennington, Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper.
Leeds have unearthed a number of players over the past 20-years from the successful academy at Elland Road with Lewis Cook, who won his first senior England cap last month, one of the most recent.
The under-18 team were crowned champions of their respective division at the weekend as it looks like the successful production line shows no sign of stopping.