Albion Academy hopefuls pen first professional terms

A photo of Akeel Higgins signing his first professional contract with Albion

Four of the Baggies’ academy prospects have started an exciting new stage of their careers after penning their first professional terms with the club.

Akeel Higgins has agreed a two-year deal to keep him at The Hawthorns until June 2025, and Fenton Heard, Layton Love and Narel Phillips have all signed one-year contracts with the option of a further year in the club's favour.

The quartet join Harry Whitwell, Ronnie Hollingshead, Matt Richards and Alex Williams - who penned their pro deals during the 22/23 season - in committing their futures to the Albion.

Left-to-right: Akeel Higgins, Fenton Heard, Narel Phillips, Layton Love.

Born in Birmingham, attacker Higgins is no stranger to the U21s setup having broken into Richard Beale’s team last term - contributing an impressive five goals and four assists in all competitions.

Attacking midfielder Heard, of Great Barr, and target man Love, from Tipton, both got to grips with PL2 football towards the end of last season after leading the way for goal contributions in Leigh Downing’s Under-18s.

While centre-back Phillips, who hails from Wolverhampton, endured an injury-hit campaign during his last year as a scholar and will be keen to make his mark under Beale having proven himself as a leader throughout his eight-year spell in B71.

Congratulations on your first pro deals, boys!

  • PL2
  • Higgins
  • Heard
  • Narel Phillips
  • Love