Mikey O’Neill has been named in the League Football Education’s ‘The 11’ for April 2022, being recognised for his achievements both on and off the pitch.
The 17-year-old, who had his stay at Preston North End extended by a year last week, is included in the list which acknowledges the football and academic progress of Academy players on apprenticeships with EFL clubs.
On the pitch, it’s been a memorable campaign for Liverpool-born Mikey, having played a key part in the U19s’ success in the Youth Alliance League, captaining Nick Harrison’s men in the 8-1 title-clinching victory over Port Vale.
The attacker has also recently made his professional bow for the club, coming on as a 90th-minute substitute in the recent Championship victory over Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale.
Away from football, Mikey has shown tremendous commitment to his education, working at triple D* standard on the BTEC Extended Diploma and becoming the first player to pass his SEP End Point Assessment with a Distinction.
Head of Education, Phil Brown, told LFE: “Mikey is an exemplary apprentice, demonstrating real quality on the pitch and an attitude to match off it.
“In terms of his football, there has been a marked improvement in his footballing ability in the past 12 months. In his second year, he has kicked on noticeably in his football, showing staff consistently his technical and tactical ability and understanding, as well as his willingness to learn.
“He has stretched himself with his effort and determination and this provided him with the platform to approach a professional contract with real confidence.
“Reflecting on his overall apprenticeship, part of the reason he has been nominated is that he has again exceeded expectations in all areas. He is expected to exceed his target grade for his BTEC by achieving a D*D*D* and was the first player to complete his SEP portfolio and End Point Assessment, which are both outstanding achievements.”