Sam Stubbs, pictured above, a 19-year-old defender, has signed from Wigan Athletic.

The son of former Bolton, Celtic and Everton defender Alan, Sam has previously been on loan with Crewe Alexandra and Fylde, totalling a dozen appearances away from Academy football.

Also switching clubs is Djed Spence, a 17-year-old defender who joins from Fulham.

A product of the Cottagers’ Academy system, highly-rated Spence played one game on trial for our Under-23s, away to Newcastle, towards the end of last season.

Elsewhere, there are first professional contracts for midfielder Connor Malley and goalkeepers Brad James and Zach Hemming.

Defender James Cook and midfielder Amadou Sylla have penned new short-term contract until the end of August.

Meanwhile, a total of 12 players have been offered scholarships:

Alberto Balde, born in Madrid, Spain, but a UK citizen having lived virtually all his life in Northern Ireland

Isiah Cornet – Creteil, France

Harold Essien – Manchester

Harry Flatters – Huntingdon

Isaac Fletcher – Middlesbrough

Joseph Gibson – Bishop Auckland

Harry Green – Stockton-On-Tees

Hayden Hackney – Middlesbrough

Terry Stephenson – Lae, Papua New Guinea, but a UK citizen having travelled to this country with his English father as a baby

Cain Sykes – Sunderland

Andrew Wilson – Darlington

Nathan Wood – Middlesbrough

Released from the Academy are Tom Brewitt, Liam Cooke, Matthew Elsdon, Liam Hegarty, Jakub Sinior, Kieran Storey, Robbie Tinkler and Jay Wilson, while Mikael Soisalo has been transferred to Zulte Waragem.