Matthew Richards 21/22

Matt Richards made a positive impression during his first year as a scholar.

The youngster began the 2021/22 season in Peter Gilbert's Under-18s, but the central midfielder embraced the challenge of playing at a higher level and spent a large part of the campaign playing under Richard Beale in the Under-23s. 

And Richards proved his versatility in Albion's PL2 side, slotting seamlessly in at the right side of a back three in defence to great effect. Matt played an important part in helping Beale's men win the Premier League Cup and as a reward for his consistency and positive strides forward in development, the midfielder won the Academy Player of the Season Award.

Overall, Matt benefited from 13 appearances in Richard Beale's U23s during his first term as a scholar and having proven his ability to cope with opponents at a higher level, he'll be looking for further experience in an older age group during the 2022/23 campaign.