O’Connell makes Peterborough debut

Congratulations to SEFA Academy graduate Charlie O’Connell who made his debut for Peterborough United at the weekend.

The 18-year-old came off the bench for the Posh – who have won promotion to the Championship – in their 4-1 win at Doncaster Rovers.

Charlie was a valued member of our Maidstone Academy at Maplesden Noakes, with his burgeoning reputation as a talented central 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. A scholarship with Peterborough United then followed, with Charlie making his debut as he approaches the end of his second year with the Cambridgeshire club.

An 11-year-old Charlie representing SEFA in Milan.

SEFA Head of Academies Kieran Culleton said: “It was fantastic to see Charlie making his first team debut this weekend.

“His talent was clear during his time with us and like so many players, his experience during one of our tours was a real springboard in his development and it was clear that he would get a move to a professional club.

“We have kept close tabs on Charlie’s progress and it has been great to see him play a key part in Peterborough’s FA Youth Cup run this season prior to making his first team bow.

“He was part of a really talented year at our Academy, with his friends and teammates Dan Quick and Tony Springett also doing superbly at Crystal Palace and Norwich respectively at the moment – all three lads have positioned themselves brilliantly for careers in the game.

“We look forward to following Charlie’s career as Peterborough head into the Championship next season!”