Boro youngster Henry Popple has been awarded for his achievements on and off the pitch by League Football Education.
Henry, 16, has been named one of 'the 11’, which acknowledges the footballing and academic progress of Under-18 players on apprenticeships across the EFL – and is also designed to assess other factors, including involvement in community or charity-based initiatives.
First-year apprentice Henry has made a positive start to his apprenticeship in the classroom, completing his Functional Skills in maths with a glowing report from his tutor, as well staying up to date and excelling with his BTEC target grades.
The teenage goalkeeper has demonstrated a great willingness to learn and takes the lead in presentations, while he has made a great impact on the local community by contributing to various fundraising tasks with the rest of the Under-18s squad.
Head of Education and Welfare Barry Dawson said: "Henry recently took a really strong lead in a community-based project, which was part of the NCS programme. He, along with his teammates, generated over £150 worth of care packages for elderly people within the local community.
“In addition, Henry organised a zoom bingo call to help raise the spirits of the residents of the care home. Henry was also excellent in sessions during lockdown and has started really well.”
During the 2020-21 season, 33 apprentices will be selected for the award, which celebrates the holistic development of young players and is a barometer applied to the LFE Apprentice of the Year awards. All three academy players to triumph at the EFL Awards last season – Jude Bellingham (Birmingham City – now Borussia Dortmund), Luke Matheson (Rochdale AFC – now Wolverhampton Wanderers) and Scott Pollock (Northampton Town) – were also previously named in The 11.
Elsewhere, other notable academy graduates to earn the accolade includes Dominic Calvert-Lewin (formerly of Sheffield United), Ademola Lookman (formerly of Charlton Athletic), Oli McBurnie (formerly of Bradford City) and Ryan Sessegnon (formerly of Fulham).
LFE chief executive Sarah Stephen added: “The 11 is directly associated with apprentice reviews that are conducted by our regional officers throughout the season. It is a great way to highlight the achievements and progression of talented young footballers, who apply themselves to all aspects of their apprenticeship.”