Fleetwood’s keeper gets national recognition with spot in ‘The 11’

Young academy keeper Billy Crellin with chairman Andy Pilley
Young academy keeper Billy Crellin with chairman Andy Pilley

Fleetwood’s young goalkeeping prodigy Billy Crellin has been hailed for his performances both on and off the pitch by the League Football Education.

The shot-stopper’s performances for both the U18’s and development squad helped the 16-year-old local lad seal his first professional contract in December.

And now the youngster, who has progressed his way through the ranks at Highbury after joining the club aged eight, has gained national recognition by being named in the LFE’s elite line-up ‘The 11’ this June.

‘The 11’ acknowledges the football and academic progress of Under 18 players on apprenticeships at current or former English Football League (EFL) clubs - and is also designed to assess other factors including involvement in community or charity based initiatives.

The line-up is judged by LFE’s team of regional officers and this accolade celebrates the holistic development of young players.

It is a barometer which is also applied to the LFE Apprentice of the Year Awards presented at The EFL Awards dinner next month and it could mean that Crellin has a bright future in the football league ahead given the calibre of some of the past players to be named in ‘The 11’.

Ademola Lookman, who joined Everton from Charlton in January and AFC Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook (formerly Leeds United) were both named in ‘The 11’ ahead of becoming the Championship’s Apprentice of the Year.

Others to previously feature in this select group include Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham), Conor Chaplin (Portsmouth) and Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin (formerly Sheffield United).

The 11 – June 2017: Tom Scott (AFC Wimbledon) Oliver Mulders (Birmingham City) Lewis Thompson (Blackburn Rovers) Tommy Wood (Burnley) Billy Crellin (Fleetwood Town) Sam Dalby (Leyton Orient) Luke Andersen (Lincoln City) Hugo Logan (Milton Keynes Dons) Rhys Kavanagh (Newport County) Tyler Smith (Sheffield United) Matthew Taylor (Wigan Athletic).