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From Bromley To The EFL: Tracing Academy Players into the Football League

Many Bromley academy players have moved onto clubs higher up the football pyramid; here is a look at some of the academy players that have been given the opportunity to play at a higher level.

Kellen Fisher

Kellen Fisher, a product of Bromley's academy and U23 setup, made his first team debut at the start of Bromley's 21/22 FA Trophy season in their 1-0 win against Dover Athletic; another start would quickly come for the young defender in the next round playing a full 90 minutes against Tonbridge Angels putting in another great display showing off his skills and received a lot of praise from Bromley fans as well as manager Andy Woodman.

Whilst he had proven himself in the first team, loan spells at local sides Welling United and Cray Wanderers saw Kellen improve and continue his development before returning back to Bromley and becoming a regular first-team player playing 25 times as well as featuring in Bromley's recent playoff run becoming a fan favourite.

Once the 22/23 season concluded, the rumours of where Kellen may end up appeared in the news and on social media, with the likes of Wolves, Brentford and Norwich being apparently interested in signing the young player, and ultimately, it would be Norwich who secured his signature and signed for an undisclosed fee.

Liam Vincent

Liam Vincent was another academy graduate that got the opportunity to play football at a higher level, having had a long association with the football club, starting as a fan and playing in the youth section playing for the U14s, progressing up the age groups until eventually joining the academy at 16. Following impressive performances for the academy, he was invited to train with the First Team squad.

Soon after this, he would go on to sign his first team forms and would regularly feature for the u23s and ended up playing across three different Bromley teams; this began with the u18s FA Youth Cup run, which saw them reach the 3rd round for the first ever time and included a memorable 2-1 over Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

In December 2020, he made his first team debut against Hemel Hempstead in the FA Trophy, coming on for James Alabi, and would then make his league debut against Kings Lynn Town in February 2021; he would then go on to make 4 more appearances for the first team with three of them being in the starting XI.

These appearances were enough to draw attention to the young defender and saw Portsmouth lure Liam away from Hayes Lane in June 2021 on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee. Liam is a testament to how great the academy system is at Bromley FC, showing all the players involved that there is always a straightforward path to first-team football, whether at Bromley or elsewhere across the football pyramid.

Oli Tanner

After being released by Arsenal in 2015, another local player, Oli Tanner joined Bromley's youth section for the U16s, helping the squad win the league in 2016; he also enjoyed success the following season as he was part of the double-winning JPL squad in the 17/18 season and later signed as a 1st-year scholar during the 18/19 season.

He would be part of the U17 squad that finished National League Youth Academy runners-up and subsequently be rewarded with a first-team squad number and go on to play for the first team making pre-season appearances against the likes of Crystal Palace, Reading and Fulham as well as appearing on the bench in the league and FA cup fixtures before making an appearance at Gander Green Lane against local rivals Sutton United in a 2-0 win.

However, once Andy Woodman became manager, Oli Tanner was released and picked up by Isthmian Premier side Lewes and became a prolific attacking threat for them, which saw the likes of Tottenham being interested in signing the winger; however, the deal fell through, but he would later go on to sign for Championship side Cardiff City even making an appearance in their 2-2 draw with Leeds United.

Oli's potential and talent prompted his loan move to National League side York City. This gave him valuable playing time and opportunities to improve his football development. Oli's skills and abilities make him an up-and-coming player, and Oli has the potential to make a significant impact and contribute to his overall growth as a highly talented player.

It is clear that Bromley's focus on youth development has paid off over the years, and their academy has to be commended for producing talented players. The club's commitment to nurturing young talent and providing them with the necessary resources and guidance to succeed is evident in the success of their academy graduates. These players have made an impact at Bromley but have also been signed on to teams in higher leagues.

The emphasis on youth development at Bromley starts from a young age; the club's youth setup provides a structured and supportive environment for young players to develop their skills. The academy coaching staff are dedicated to identifying and nurturing talent, providing players with top-class training facilities and coaching expertise.

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