Academy starlet Henry Rylah has penned his first professional contract, signing a three-year deal with the club.
The highly-rated 17-year-old, who joined the Addicks as an U12, has already made two appearances for the men’s first-team this season in the Papa John's Trophy.
Rylah has shone for Jason Pearce's title-winning U18 side this term, as well as the U21s and was part of the squad that recently lifted the 2023 London Senior Cup.
The winger won the inaugural Steve Clarke Trophy in May 2022, awarded to a young player who has thrived both on the pitch and in the class across a 12-month period.
Manager Dean Holden said: “I’m really looking forward to working more with Henry. He is a young player with so much talent and a great work ethic. He’s lightning fast and exciting to watch and I’m really pleased he’s signed a long-term contract with the club.”
Academy Director Steve Avory was pleased to see Rylah sign. He explained: “It’s a deserved contract for Henry. He’s had an outstanding season as a young scholar and it’s important that we try and retain our best young players.
"We’ve got many good players in that age group and in successive years we really feel strong across that U17 to U21 age bracket. I’m excited at the prospect of having that opportunity to continue to help him develop.
“The first thing you’ll notice about him is his exceptional pace. He’s a wide player who doesn’t mind operating on either flank and when we get the ball to him in those wide areas he’s a real threat to the opposition with his speed.
"He’s got goalscoring ability and he needs to continue to work at that because he gets in so many threatening positions with his pace. He’s got an exceptional cross on him with great delivery and great pace. Henry would admit he’s got to be more consistent about that as well, but he provides that attacking threat. When he is in those one-on-one positions, he is someone the opposition don’t like to face for sure.
"What also impresses me about Henry is that when he loses possession, he’s prepared to do the dirty work of running back as well.”
CEO Peter Storrie added: “It has been great to see the progress some of our academy graduates have made in the men’s first-team this season and it is important we have our best young players under contract. Henry is rated highly by Steve Avory and our staff at the club, who have worked with him since he was an U12, and we’re really pleased to see him commit the next three years to this football club and we look forward to watching his development.”
Charlton fans can support the academy by signing up to the Valley Gold scheme. Valley Gold enables fans to support the club’s academy in unearthing the talents of tomorrow, as well as giving them the chance to win cash prizes.