Published: 3rd July 2017
The Under 20s were back in pre-season training today at St Andrews and amongst the squad were five new members. Luc Bollan, Declan Glass, Jake Davidson, Kieran Inglis and Archie Thomas all join Dave Bowman's team for the coming season, signing their first professional contracts. Four of the players (Luc, Declan, Jake and Kieran) make the step-up from the Academy's Under 17 squad and Archie joins from Southampton. Senior Academy Manager Brian Grant said, "Everyone here is delighted that these five young players have committed their future development to the 20s here at United. The four who have joined from the Under 17s are alongside three others from that team who are already working full-time with the Under 20 squad. To have seven players graduate into our Under 20 team is fantastic and we feel they all have the potential to succeed in the professional game. "Archie joins us from Southampton where he spent the last two years and is another we have high hopes for. Each of the lads is excited and looking forward to developing as footballers at Dundee United." Below are more detailed bios of each of the players: Luc Bollan Luc has been in the Academy for the past two seasons after leaving Dundee FC. He is an aggressive, determined centre back who loves the art of defending. The 17-year-old is the son of former Tannadice favourite Gary Bollan and has inherited a number of his father's traits. The 6ft 2 centre back is commanding in the air and also can show a good turn of pace to recover. He is a throwback to the way centre backs were a generation ago but can also play out from the back when needed. Luc can also contribute in both boxes and has chipped in with a few goals over the period that he has played in the Academy. Luc is also a Scottish Schoolboy internationalist having played recently in the Challenge matches v England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Declan Glass Declan also joined the Academy a little later after impressing with Edinburgh-based Hutchinson Vale and has been with the Club for three seasons. Declan is an attacking midfielder who is most comfortable when playing centrally in behind the striker. Technically very good, his pace is a strong point as he can quickly accelerate past players with quick, soft touches of the ball. Another of Declan assets is his ability to score goals and assist from open play and set pieces. Declan still needs to understand the willingness to work defensively and has improved in this area, but with full-time training this can only get better. Like Luc, The 17-year-old was also involved with the Scottish Schoolboys internationals. Jake Davidson Jake has been with us since the age of nine in our Central Satellite centre and has progressed through all the age groups to gain a full-time contract. His usual position is centre-back, but he is more than comfortable playing right across the back four and has shown that versatility in his development with us. Jake is a quiet and unassuming player but very dependable and efficiently goes about his business. Comfortable with both feet and 6ft 1 tall, Jake has all the qualities to become an excellent defender and full-time training will hopefully accelerate his development. The 16-year-old was fortunate enough to play a number U20s/Development games last season and acquitted himself well in those matches and is looking forward to the full-time environment. Kieran Inglis Kieran has been with the Club since he was eight years of age and has shown a terrific attitude and commitment throughout that time. A local boy who attended St John’s HS, the central midfielder shows fantastic technical ability when receiving and taking care of the ball. Kieran needs to work on the physical side of his game along with growing into a more mature all round player. The full-time environment will allow the 16-year-old the opportunity to improve these aspects of his game and fulfil his potential. Archie Thomas Archie has recently joined from English Premier League side Southampton FC where he has played for the last two seasons. Prior he was with Torquay United from the age of 12 to 16-year-old. Archie has a great attitude and applies himself very well. He is right-footed and can play anywhere across the middle of the park. He is very comfortable in possession and retains the ball well. When under pressure, he shows great composure in tight areas and finds pockets of space to receive the ball. Everyone is looking forward to working with the 17-year-old and progressing his career at Dundee United.