Chester FC have signed three of their youth academy professional contracts at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium.
Nathan Brown, Tom Crawford and James Jones will all join up with the first team for the 2017/18 Vanarama National League campaign.
The deals have been allowed to happen through sponsorship from principal Academy sponsor Swettenham Chemists.
Nathan Brown was voted the Youth Player of the Season at the recent end of season awards evening. Brown hails from Rhyl has been with the club for the previous two seasons having previously been with Manchester City until 16. Short in stature, Brown is used either as a forward player or in a wide position. He has scored some memorable goals for the Youth Team as well as scoring against Hyde United in the Cheshire Senior Cup this season on his first team debut.
Tom Crawford made an appearance for the first team last pre-season against Burnley. Crawford is from Blacon and joined the club at 15 having been released by Stoke City. He began his junior career at Blacon Youth. A central midfielder, he has been an ever present for the youth team this season as well as making a number of appearances for the first team in behind closed doors friendlies.
James Jones, from Shrewsbury, has been with the club since he was 14. He has progressed through the ranks and made his senior debut against Hyde United in the Cheshire Senior Cup and was another of the debutants on the scoresheet. A strong and tall central defender, Jones has captained the Youth Team this season and is also the youngest player to have appeared for Chester in the FA Youth Cup.
Academy Head Coach Calum McIntyre said: “This is a really special day for these three boys. James has been with the club from Under 14’s up and it is tremendous to see him sign a professional contract here at the club. This shows that the Academy system in place here works and players do have the potential to rise through the ranks.
“Tom Crawford signing for Chester FC is exactly the ethos that the Football Club is built on. For a local lad, from Blacon, to sign his first professional deal here at his local club is incredibly special and I am delighted for him and his family.
“Fans will have seen a lot of Nathan Brown, he is a player for the big occasion and I haven’t worked with a player who has the ability to win a game the way he does. His style of play really catches the eye and he will no doubt excite the supporters.”