Skip to main content

Nottingham Forest FC Academy Player Profiles

Richard Dearle
Goalkeeper

The shot-stopper is currently at the top of the pecking order in the U18s and helped The Reds go through the whole of pre-season without conceding.


The 17-year-old will be determined to keep his place between the sticks and progress under the stewardship of goalkeeping coach Steve Sutton.

Dearle will be aiming to replicate the progress of first-team keepers Karl Darlow and Dimitar Evtimov, who both made their way through the age groups impressively, capitalising on opportunities when they come along.

Born in Derby, the second-year scholar took part in trials with West Brom, Derby County and Leicester City before arriving on Trentside.

Joe Boyd
Goalkeeper

The former Carlton le Willows Academy student will be looking to fight off the tough competition from Richard Dearle to claim a place in the starting 11.


Boyd played a telling role in Forest’s ability to keep clean sheets in pre-season and his useful distribution allows those in front of him to build attacks.

David Arrowsmith
Defender

The tall centre back has already won an Apprentice of the Year award and will be looking challenge the likes of Joe Worrall and Alex Iacovitti for a defensive berth in Kevin MacDonald’s side.


He may find a route into the side at right back, where he can also function efficiently.

Andreas Karo
Defender

The rangy Cypriot plays primarily plays at centre back but can also be used at right back.


Karo will be aiming to convince Jack Lester and Kevin MacDonald that he deserves a place in the side after his defensive teammates started the 2014-15 campaign in good form.

Jack Kelly
Defender

The left back grabbed his first goal of the 2014-15 campaign against Ipswich Town with a sweet strike from the edge of the area.


Kelly will be aiming to make goals a regular feature of his game to complement his frequent overlapping runs.

The second-year scholar has made the left back role his own with his consistent performances on a weekly basis.

Joe Worrall
Defender

The Hucknall-bred centre back impressed enough in the 2013-14 campaign to make regular appearances for the Under 21s towards the end of the season.


Worrall has built a formidable partnership with Alex Iacovitti in the heart of defence and they complement each other excellently.

Rivals Derby County and Leicester City reportedly showed interest in the imposing defender before he opted to sign for The Reds as a 14-year-old.

He will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of recent centre back revelation Jamaal Lascelles to prove to Under 21s manager Jimmy Gilligan that he is once again worth a regular place in his team, with the likes of Roger Riera and Louis Laing providing stiff competition at that level.

The former Hucknall Sports man trained with the first team for a while last season.

Jermaine Worthington
Defender

The second-year scholar, who can operate at full back and central midfield, is comfortable with the ball at both feet which is a vital component for breaking forward and delivering crosses.


His versatility has been used shrewdly over the past year but he's recently made the right back position his own with a string of admirable performances.

Worthington has a good understanding with winger Oliver Burke and will be hoping to rekindle their partnership by emulating the latter’s step up to Under 21 level.

Adam Crookes
Midfielder

The tough-tackling central midfielder breaks up play well to allow the more offensive players to strut their stuff in the final third.


The first-year scholar put in a string of top displays leading up to the 2014-15 campaign and now finds himself an ever-present in the core of the midfield.

He has forged a superb partnership with Ryan Yates in the middle of the park, with their different attributes shining through to ensure Forest dominate for sustained spells in matches.

Ismael Diallo
Defender

Diallo will be hoping to work his way into the coaching staff’s thoughts after signing from Corduff FC in Dublin at the beginning of the 2014-15 season.


Relatively small in stature, the right back was part of the pre-season touring party of Valencia and made good contributions to the remarkable run of clean sheets in that time.

He will compete with Jermaine Worthington for a place on the right side of defence.

Alex Iacovitti
Defender

The Scottish youth international, who also qualifies to play for Italy, has established himself as a lynchpin in defence alongside Joe Worrall.


Comfortable with the ball at his feet, the youngster plays with an typical Italian poise and fits perfectly into the style of football the academy wish to implement.

The left-sided centre back comes forward positively with the ball and provides a good link between defence and midfield.

Aidan Austin
Midfielder

The midfielder was one of five players selected from a group of 43 to join the Nike Academy at the Nike Chance Global Showcase competition.


Forest scout John Marshall was also on the judging panel that decided the future of the young hopefuls who were searching for a way into the game.

Jimmy Gilligan, using his expertise from his time working at the Nike Academy, brought him to the club to join up with the Under 18s.

Austin is a vital creative force who links up well with the strikers, allowing the side to advance into the final third with penetration.

Oliver Burke
Midfielder

The winger started the 2014-15 season in explosive form, putting in strong performances at Under 18s and Under 21s level.


Nicknamed Twisty, Burke's strengths include bombing past full backs using his raw speed to get to the byline and deliver for the strikers.

Confident on the ball, the wide man is a yard ahead of his marker before the ball has even reached him, meaning he's a constant danger.

When required, he can also be a useful physical presence, never shy to make a challenge. His work-rate going in both directions provides a huge aid to the right back playing behind him.

Burke can operate as a centre forward too, and has featured for Scotland at youth level.

Dylan Burns
Midfielder

The New Zealand teenage prodigy signed a two-year scholarship towards the end of last season.


Burns is another successful graduate of the Nike Academy, brought to the club by Under 21s coach Jimmy Gilligan.

The midfielder hopes to follow the career paths of fellow countrymen Chris Wood and Winston Reid and represent New Zealand at the highest level of English football.

Luke Thomas
Midfielder

The ex-Nottingham Academy pupil causes a nuisance on the left wing with his pace and tenacity on the ball.


The second-year scholar will be wanting to shake off the 'super-sub' tag which is attributed to him because of his knack for exploiting tired opponents with his pace off the bench.

Thomas can also operate as a forward and his left foot is always a danger in and around the box.

Liam Adams
Midfielder

The tricky winger can play on either flank.


Comfortable using both feet, the diminutive midfielder will be looking to break into the Under 18s' squad and make more telling, regular contributions over the course of the season.

Thomas Gamblen
Midfielder

The box-to-box central midfielder made his debut for the Under 18s at the tender age of 14, bagging a goal in the process.


His great awareness of what's going on around him subsequently allows him to be tidy with the ball, helping to spread an air of calm around the side when The Reds need to retain possession.

Gamblen will be hoping to add more goals to his game to add to the one he scored against Aston Villa in pre-season.

Elvis Otim
Midfielder

The Ugandan wide-man is the brother of Under 21s squad member Derrick Otim.


The pacey Otim brings great flair to the side and is a threatening outlet on the break.

Otim can play on either wing or as a forward, where his work-rate comes in useful harrying defenders and forcing them into errors.

Ryan Yates
Midfielder

Predominantly an attacking midfielder, the exciting, athletic Yates has started the current season off in superb form.


His close control and neat approach to possession allows Forest to take the game to the opposition when required.

Often working alongside Adam Crookes, his stamina allows his more expressive style to come to fruition, working in pockets of space behind the strikers, showing he's always a willing runner.

Tyler Walker
Striker

A goal poacher who comes alive in the box at any opportunity, Walker already has an impressive goal ratio in his young career and is a handful for any opposition defence.


Using his combination of pace and power, Walker also has the ability to move past defenders with ease and has a deadly eye for goal.

Son of former Forest defender Des, the young striker made a number of appearances for the Under 21 side last season as the staff sought to challenge him at a higher level and he responded by scoring four goals in five matches at the end of the campaign.

Kasheme Walton
Striker

Striker Walton's pace and power make him an influential part of the team.


A second-year scholar, he will be hoping to strike up a partnership with Tyler Walker or Gerry McDonagh to capitalise on opportunities and fire The Reds further up the league.

His anticipation during games is backed up by his ability to be in the right place at the right time on regular occasions.

Gerry McDonagh
Striker

The imposing striker is a valuable asset to Forest.


His ability to hold on to the ball in tight situations and squeeze away from robust challenges with the ball at his feet are indicative of his brave approach to the game.

The Irishman also possesses deceptive pace which can catch the opposition off guard.

He is accustomed to feeding off loose balls with his intimidating frame causing a distraction for defenders.