Deji Elerewe shortlisted for EFL Apprentice of the Year award

Academy graduate Deji Elerewe has been shortlisted for the League One Apprentice of the Year award.

The 18-year-old defender made his senior debut as a second-year scholar in the Carabao Cup clash with AFC Wimbledon at The Valley in August before making his league debut at MK Dons seven days later.

He has gone on to make 11 first-team appearances this term and signed his first pro deal with the club in November.

The club's Head of Education, Joe Francis said: "Deji commands great respect from his peer group - a perfect role model for those aspiring to achieve a professional contract, showing every single day the dedication required to succeed. He consistently applies the Academy mantra to be ‘ the best you can everyday ‘ and doing so with the belief that is needed but also the humility never to be forgotten.

"It has been a pleasure to facilitate Deji’s academic studies alongside his personal development throughout his scholarship. With a natural humility nurtured through strong family support, he has displayed all of the qualities required to succeed in his BTEC and A Level studies, and has shown natural leadership within the player care programme."

Meanwhile, Addicks boss Johnnie Jackson added: "He encapsulates what all young players need – dedication, hard work, honesty and reliability with a sense of humility. A true Charlton Academy product."

Elerewe follows in the footsteps of fellow academy graduates Joe Gomez, Ademola Lookman and Jordan Cousins in being nominated for Apprentice of the Year recognition with Lookman winning the Championship award in 2016 and Cousins taking home the League One gong in 2012.

The Charlton defender will be up against Freddie Draper of Lincoln City and Michael Williams of Crewe Alexandra for the award which will be presented at the EFL Awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on April 24th.

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.

Click here for more information on how you can become a Valley Gold member.

Read Time: 2 mins