Congratulations to Sulley Sidibe as he returns to Stoke City from an England training camp.
The teenager, son of club favourite Mama Sidibe and named after Mama’s dad, was called up for England under-15s during the international break.
Sidibe Sr won 14 caps for Mali, having been born there before moving to the southern suburbs of Paris at the age of two – and then on to Swansea at the age of 21.
He was a major player under Tony Pulis as Stoke won their place in the Premier League in 2008, forming a super partnership with Ricardo Fuller, and returned to the club after hanging up his boots in 2013.
Now aged 41, he has been a scout and ambassador, with excellent contacts in France, Belgium and Germany.
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It continues a strong time for Stoke’s academy, which has graduates Harry Souttar, Tyrese Campbell and Joe Bursik around the first team and saw Nathan Collins make a big money move to Burnley in the summer.
There are six out on loan in the EFL, another in Scotland and one in the United States as part of their development.
And there are more coming through like Emre Tezgel, the striker from Forsbrook who turns 16 next week.
Tezgel, who has been playing ahead of schedule with the under-18s, has already trained with the first team and was recently named player of the tournament as England under-17s won the Syrenka Cup in Poland.
Academy director Gareth Owen said in his programme notes at the weekend: “A huge congratulations to our under-16s striker Emre and his family for his match-winning two goals for England against Portugal and for being named player of the tournament.
“You couldn’t wish for a better model player for the academy with his attitude to learn and improve. He is a credit to his parents Adam and Stephanie and we have high hopes for him for the future.”