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U18s In Profile With Billy Russell

U18s In Profile With Billy Russell

Ahead of tonight’s FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tie against Manchester United, Billy Russell spoke to Hull Daily Mail journalist Phil Buckingham to profile the Under-18s squad chasing glory at Old Trafford.

Alex Penny
Date of Birth: 16/02/1997
School: Withernsea
Billy Russell: ”Alex has played schoolboy football for Wales and he was actually in the squad when we played Liverpool in the quarter-finals two years ago. He's a great prospect as a defender but he's had a bad back injury that's put his season on hold. That was in pre-season and he's only just back in full training now. He's one of our most experienced players and hopefully he can enjoy better luck in 2015."

Harvey Rodgers
Date of Birth: 20/10/1996
School: Selby High
Billy Russell: "Harvey has been out for a little bit with an injury but he's come back into the squad in time for this game. He's a ball-playing centre-half, who likes to play out from the back. He's a good defender, too, strong in the air. He's getting bigger and stronger every week it seems. Harvey's been here since he was in the under-10s and he's a good character. He hates losing, which is a very good thing to have."

Matthew Hinchcliffe
Date of Birth: 25/09/1997
School: Kelvin Hall
Billy Russell: "Matt's one of our twins and perhaps a bit more relaxed than his brother. They're both fairly quiet boys and they also share that attitude to work hard. I wouldn't say they were thick as thieves, there's no love lost sometimes! When they're on the training ground there's no prospect of him pulling out of a tackle because it's his brother. Matt's a right-footed centre-back. He loves a block. He's brave and he competes."

Joe Pugh
Date of Birth: 10/10/1997
School: Hungerhill, Doncaster
Billy Russell: "Joe is whole-hearted, honest and a great competitor. He gives it all every day and that stands him in good stead for the matches. He's played a lot at the back but he'll tell you he can play up front as well. He's a versatile member of the squad. Joe's another one from Doncaster but he's been with us for a good while now. This is his first season as an apprentice and he's started well."

Joe Walker
Date of Birth: 09/10/1996
School: Barlby High
Billy Russell: "Joe is our senior goalkeeper, who missed the last round through injury. He's one of the more sensible lads, a conscientious young man. He's very analytical of his game and likes to know where he can improve in everything he does. He's a very nice lad who wants to do well. He's from the York area but he's been with us since under-14s and now he's a second year apprentice."

Devonte Morton
Date of Birth: 21/11/1996
School: Ralph Thoresby, Leeds
Billy Russell: "Dev came in as an under-16s, he's a Leeds lad, from Chapeltown. He's a great character, always got plenty to say, but I like his company. He's not the clown but he's funny. We've seen a difference in him this season. He's a lot more focused and knows what he wants to do. He plays out wide and has good ability and hopefully, if he does what he can do, he can be a big player for us."

Will Annan
Date of Birth: 05/09/1996
School: South Hunsley
Billy Russell: "Will's the barrack-room lawyer of the group, a good, interesting character. He can't let a session end without asking a question. He's a local lad, from North Cave, who's been here since he was eight or nine. He's got fantastic ability up front, as we saw with his hat-trick in the last round, and on his day he can do things that make you smile. At times he can be his own worst enemy, hyper-critical, but a very good player."

Mitchell Langton
Date of Birth: 10/09/1997
School: Hungerhill, Doncaster
Billy Russell: "Mitch is a central midfielder who's a very laid back character. I love his sense of humour, you can have a laugh and a joke with him. Mitch is a Doncaster lad but he's been with us for a long time. He's gifted on the ball and looks to play the game in the right way. This is still only his first year so he's been in and out of the side but he's played his fair share. He can push on now."

Jarrod Bowen
Date of Birth: 20/12/1996
School: Earl Mortimer, Leominster
Billy Russell: "Jarrod's the boy who came in from Hereford at the end of last season. He's got an eye for goal and he's our top goalscorer this season. He's hard-working, he's got good skills and you'd think he will be there or thereabouts when the professional chances come up. I don't think too many defenders enjoy playing against him. He played senior football in the Conference last season and it shows."

Luke Lofts
Date of Birth: 18/09/1997
School: Wolfreton
Billy Russell: "Luke's not one of our biggest players but he is very good technically and loves to get on the ball in midfield. He's been with us as long as any of the lads and does a lot of good things on the ball. If you looked at him you might think he was only 15 but there's a talented player there who's done well for us. He's a fairly quiet lad but you're seeing him get more and more confident as he gets older.

Josh Clackstone
Date of Birth: 18/09/1996
School: Beverley Longcroft
Billy Russell: "Josh is our head boy, something that's voted for by the lads, not the coaches. We have one every year and you can see why it's him. He leads by example. He's very conscientious, perhaps what you'd call the model apprentice. He's the captain for us this season and a dependable figure in the side. He's got a great attitude to learning and making himself better but he's a very decent footballer too."

Daniel Batty
Date of Birth: 10/12/1997
School: St Wilfrids, Featherstone
Billy Russell: "Dan came in with us at the end of last season from Leeds United, no relation to David Batty. He's an industrious midfield player who likes a battle but he's also good on the ball. He can pick a pass and move the team forward. He's not the biggest player but he's certainly competitive, loves getting stuck in. He's been a regular for the youth team since he joined and he's doing well."

Jake Buckle
Date of Birth: 25/12/1996
School: Tadcaster Grammar
Billy Russell: "Jake's a left winger, who came into the club at the age of 16. He started at Leeds United but came to join us when he finished school. He's got good skills on the ball and good deliveries from the crosses. Technically he's very proficient. As a character he's the dry one at the back of the room not saying too much but in reality he's the one loading the guns for everyone else! He's coming out his shell.

Ben Hinchcliffe
Date of Birth: 25/09/1997
School: Kelvin Hall
Billy Russell: "Ben's the other one of our twins, plays up front or out on the wing. Like his brother he's a local lad who's been with us for a while. He's quick, lively, left-footed and he's got an eye for goal but he's also incredibly industrious. That work ethic runs from matches to every day in training, a good lad. Him and his brother look pretty similar but they're two different characters."

Ellis Barkworth
Date of Birth: 15/10/1997
School: South Hunsley
Billy Russell: "Ellis has been with us for a long, long time and a good member of the group. You wouldn't necessarily call him a tough-tackling central midfield player, he's more of a football player with his silky skills. He likes to play with his head up and pick a pass. Ellis played in the last round win over Brentford and does well for us when he's called upon. He's a very tidy footballer."

Jake Rose
Date of Birth: 04/05/1997
School: Huntington, York
Billy Russell: "Jake is very, very industrious, perhaps the most competitive boy we've got here if I'm honest. That attitude is great, he's always 100 per cent. He's a good character and a good singer too. Jake is one of those who wants to win at every thing he does and gives you that edge in central midfield. He's a second year now who's turned into one of the big characters in the dressing room."

Josh Tymon
Date of Birth: 22/05/1999
School: Malet Lambert
Billy Russell: "Josh is an under-16s left-back. He'll come in as an apprentice next year. He likes to get forward at every other opportunity and he's done really well this season. He's played regularly for the youth team this season, including the FA Youth Cup win over Brentford. He's even played in the reserves, or under-21s, as a 16-year-old, so we're pleased. He's not the type that gets fazed and I'm looking forward to seeing how he handles this."

Jonathan Hirst
Date of Birth: 29/01/1999
School: Beverley Longcroft
Billy Russell: "John's a goalkeeper who had a lot of time out injured last season but he's come into the building next season as an apprentice. He's a character, a good lad, always got a bit to say like a lot of them. He's another one who's been at the club for a long time and he's a decent prospect. He's played for the under-18s on a number of occasions this season and he played his part in the win over Brentford in the last round."

Billy Chadwick
Date of Birth
: 19/01/2000
School: Malet Lambert
Billy Russell: "Billy is just an under-15s lad and only turns 15 this month. He's played in the youth team aged 14 which says a lot about his ability. He's got good feet and awareness, and that's helped him make the step up in central midfield. The ability he's got and the football intelligence meant he was moved up a couple of years. There's a long way for him to go yet but he's done very well at such a young age."

Charlie Dunkerley
Date of Birth: 07/07/1999
School: Beverley Grammar School
Billy Russell: "Charlie's one of the group who will come in and join us full-time next season and another good prospect. He's a striker who's done well over the past few years. He's a quiet lad but he works ever so hard for the team, does a lot of running off the ball. He's still just an under-16s player but he comes in and gets on with his work. You can't fault his attitude."

Tyler Hamilton
Date of Birth: 05/01/1999
School: St Mary's College
Billy Russell: "Tyler's a midfield player, a winger. He's got lots of skill and two good feet. He likes to get forward and make things happen for the team. Tyler's another local lad who's still at school but he'll be with us for another couple of years as an apprentice. He's shown the attributes that we're looking for in a young lad and tonight will be a great experience at his age."

Robbie McKenzie
Date of Birth: 25/09/1998
School: South Holderness
Billy Russell: "Robbie's another under-16s boy who has been with the club for a number of years. He's a central midfielder, who likes to get on the ball. He's a good passer and competitive. He's a decent lad who's come up through the ranks with us and he'll be with us for at least two more years as an apprentice. He's made the step up well so far and now it's about keeping that going in the seasons to come."

This feature first appeared in today’s (Tuesday) edition of the Hull Daily Mail | www.hulldailymail.co.uk.