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15 October 2015

Youngster wins September award...

Walsall wing-back Rico Henry has been named the Football League’s Young Player of the Month for September.

The 18-year-old made four eye-catching league appearances during the month and scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory at Scunthorpe.

He also impressed in our League Cup tie against holders Chelsea and was rewarded with a new contract earlier this month.

“I feel very honoured to have won this award," said Henry, who has featured 12 times this season.

"I joined the club at U12s and it’s been good, I just want to keep progressing.

"The manager is good to work with. He has a lot of belief in me and plays me in difficult games but I deal with the pressure.

“My targets are to score goals and do well here. I want to get to the Championship with Walsall.”

Saddlers boss Dean Smith was delighted to present Henry with the award.

“Rico fully deserves it; he has been excellent," said Smith.

"He’s a pleasure to coach and a pleasure to have around the place, not just as a footballer but as a person.

“He’s a quick learner; you give him a bit of information and he takes it on board.

"I’ve recommended him to England U19s because if there is a better left-sided player in the country at 18 years of age I’d like to see them.”

David Wetherall, the Football League's Head of Youth development, added: “Rico Henry is an exciting young talent who has risen to prominence with an excellent Walsall team this season.

“He is an example of the Club developing Academy players into first-team regulars under Dean Smith.

"With the right application, there is no reason why Rico can’t go on to play at a higher level.”

The accolade is awarded by the Football League to the young player who has made the most significant contribution to their Club.

This is the sixth season of the award, which has previously been won by Victor Moses, Will Hughes and Wilfried Zaha.

Each season, Football League clubs invest more than £60m on identifying, training and educating the next generation of football talent.

There are 8,500 young players between the ages of eight and 18 registered with league clubs, making Football League Youth Development the largest centrally co-ordinated young player programme in world football.

Over 200 players aged 21 or under make their professional debuts for Football League clubs each season.

For more information on the award and each month’s winner visit

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