Development Trio Sign Contract Extensions
All three players featured prominently last season in Steve Beaglehole’s Development Squad, which secured a top-six finish during its first season in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League. Their impressive finish to the campaign, which included seven wins and a draw from their final eight matches, ensures City’s youngsters will compete in the top tier of the revamped Under-21 format during 2014/15.
Goalkeeper Smith, who joined the Club from Middlesbrough as a second-year scholar three-and-a-half years ago, finished last term on loan with Cambridge United, playing a pivotal role in the U’s promotion to the Football League from the Football Conference. His performances between the sticks helped the U’s defeat Halifax in the play-off semi-finals, before his saves proved to be crucial in securing a 2-1 win over Gateshead in the final at Wembley Stadium last month.
Watson joined City early-on in the 2013/14 season following a spell with Wigan Athletic, impressing regularly in midfield, providing several assists and weighing in with some timely goals of his own. His energy in the middle of the park was rarely displayed more clearly than in a 4-0 win over Arsenal, in which he scored twice.
Barrington’s first season as a professional was highly promising, as the former Stoke City youngster quickly settled to life with the Foxes. Deployed both centrally and from the left flank, the powerful forward produced some eye-catching displays in City blue, showing an eye for the spectacular with some superb goals.
All three players will report back for pre-season training with Beaglehole and assistant Nicky Eaden on 7 July, ahead of the Development Squad’s opening pre-season friendly at Loughborough Dynamo on 21 July.
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