Congratulations to Academy graduate Charlie O’Connell who has signed a professional contract with Peterborough United.
The 18-year-old, who captained the Posh youth team in 2020-21, has penned a two year deal at the Weston Homes stadium.
The agreement comes after Charlie made his senior debut at the backend of last season, coming on as a substitute in Peterborough’s 4-1 win against Doncaster Rovers.
“It is a great feeling to sign a professional contract and it caps a really good few years, where we have enjoyed a lot of success with the under 18s group,” said Charlie, speaking to theposh.com. “The first team manager is always watching the under 23s games, he has a massive interest in the youngsters coming through and that gives you a lot of confidence.
“Having that pathway of under 23 football is really important, it allows you to play with first team players and it can ease you into that next part of your development. I am learning all of the time, both in training and playing in matches and I can’t wait for the new season to start.”
Manager Darren Ferguson said: “Charlie has done very well. He is a player that can play in several positions, midfield is where I probably see him, but he can play as a centre half, a wing back, a right back, he brings that versatility. He has a brilliant attitude and was very comfortable last season at that level.
“He fully deserves the contract, now we look to see how he does in pre-season. The good thing next season is that we have the under 23s and regular football at that level so the younger ones will get that opportunity because it is always a worry with the younger ones whether they will have enough game time.
“I think this season is a very important one for the younger ones. Charlie was the easiest decision I had to make in terms of which of the younger players would get a contract.”
Charlie was a valued member of our Maidstone Academy at Maplesden Noakes, with his burgeoning reputation as a talented centre midfielder being cemented while playing up a year during our Milan tour in 2014. Indeed, shortly after our trip to Italy, there was firm interest from professional clubs and Charlie was snapped up by West Ham United, where he stayed until the summer of 2019 before joining Peterborough United.
We wish Charlie all the best as he joins fellow graduates Ellis Iandolo and David Ajiboye in signing pro deals with EFL clubs for the upcoming campaign.