Date: 23rd April 2018 at 7:22am
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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.

 

3 Replies to “Pearce – There Is A Lot Of Talent Coming Through At Leeds”

  • In this current day and age , if any club is not in the top flight of their own country ‘s league then they have little access to the top money that is doled out by the television networks.
    The lower league clubs get the crumbs and are forced to subsidize themselves by selling their better players to the elite clubs.
    Just look at some of the players that Leeds United have sold over the last 5 years , Fabian Delph , Robert Snodgrass , Johnny Howson , Bradley Johnson, Sam Byram , Charlie Taylor , Chris Wood , NEED I go on ?
    Leeds United have to have a strong youth/academy set up simply in order to balance the books.
    I hate to mention even in paraphrasing , a certain North Western club who had the “Class of 92” but that combination of academy players and some astute purchases paid some glorious dividends.
    Peacock -Farrell , O’Connor and Pearce should be the start of at least the basis of our own home grown future. “They” had the “Class of 92” there is absolutely no reason why Leeds United cannot produce their own “Class of 2019” our Centenary year ! M O T !

    • Totally agree with you, It’s a shame we haven’t given one of the youth strikers a game, one of our biggest problems has been the lack of quality in front of goal.

      • Grott has had a chance up front so we have tried a forward from the youngsters. in fact so has Ekuban both he and Grott were signed for the future. Injuries and poor performances has meant they have played this year.

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