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16

Alfie Bates

Midfielder

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Alfie Bates notched up his 50th professional appearance in the 2020/21 season at just 19-years-old.

The promising midfielder was crowned Apprentice of the Season for 2018/19 and established himself in the first team set up the following season. 

The 18-year-old spent his youth career with hometown Coventry and Birmingham before signing for Walsall in March 2017.

Most comfortable in the number 10 position, he scored on his youth team debut against Morecambe that season and played 28 matches for the Under-18s in 2017/18.

Bates made his first-team debut in an EFL Trophy victory over Middlesbrough Under-21s in October 2018 and also started the Checkatrade Trophy tie against Port Vale a month later.

The 2019-20 season proved to be a breakthrough campaign for Bates. He made his league debut against Salford City in October 2019 and scored his first professional goal against Darlington in the FA Cup a month later. 

He played 41 times in the 2020-21 campaign. 

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