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FOUR SCHOLARS PEN PROFESSIONAL DEALS

22 July 2020

Connor Shanks, Finn Cousin-Dawson, Jorge Sikora and Kian Scales have all signed professional contracts with the Bantams.

Four of City’s rising stars, aged 18, have each penned one-year deals to feature in Stuart McCall’s first-team plans, ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.

Defenders Sikora and Cousin-Dawson and midfielders Shanks and Scales all have previous experience of training in the club's senior environment. 

The talented quartet played an integral role in City’s under-18s side’s journey to the FA Youth Cup fourth round in the 2019/20 season. 

They join up with fellow scholar Reece Staunton among City’s ranks, who penned a professional contract in December to see him remain at the Utilita Energy Stadium until the end of the 2021/22 campaign.

The four players are delighted to have seen their hard work rewarded.

Sikora - who already has one senior City appearance under his belt - said: "It is what every young player dreams of doing, signing their first professional contract, so I am very pleased.

"I have been here since I was an under-13, so it has been a good few years of hard work and I am really glad to have seen it pay off."

Shanks added: "I am really excited to get going and cannot wait to get out on the pitch and play football again, after a long time off.

"I made my debut last summer, against Liverpool, in front of over 24,000 supporters and it was the best footballing moment of my life, so far. I am desperate to build on that."

Cousin-Dawson said: "I feel delighted. It has been a long time coming but I am just happy to have got it done, after a long break in play, and am looking forward to the start of the new season.

"I have been putting in a lot of hard work here for the past two years so it is a great feeling to have signed a professional contract."

Scales said: "I would like to break into the first team this season and, hopefully, make a few appearances.

"If I manage to get a starting place, I will look to build on my performances, learn from the more experienced players and develop my game as much as possible."

Academy manager Neil Matthews believes each of the players deserve their opportunity in professional football.

He said: "We feel all four of these lads have a real chance in the game and I am pleased to see them taking the next step.

"They have all worked ever so hard to get where they are now, so it is exciting to see.

"It is brilliant for these lads to know there is a pathway into professional football, especially considering how well I know they work, every day. 

"We have said to the players that there are no limits. We want them to go out with the right mindset and, if they can do that, who knows what they might be able to achieve?"

Bantams boss Stuart McCall is thrilled to have welcomed the quartet into his first-team squad and is excited by the potential they are showing.

He added: "They are obviously four talented boys and we have been very happy with their performances, when they have joined in with us.

"They all now have a year to impress and develop like we hope they can and become a big part of the club going forward."


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