Nottingham Forest have announced the signing of two young players, ahead of their first season with a Category 1 academy.
Billy Fewster signed for the Reds from Premier League side Leeds United, whose U23s won the Group Stage of Premier League 2 Division 2 in the 2020-21 season.
The 17-year-old midfielder had been at Thorp Arch since 2014, making 13 appearances in the U18 Premier League last season and scoring once.
He scored and registered an assist in his sole FA Youth Cup appearance in their 8-2 dismantling of MK Dons.
Fewster spent time on trial with Forest’s U23s side late last season, and this move has since been made permanent.
“I’m really pleased to be here and it’s a move that I’m really excited to make,” he said.
“Forest has a great history and reputation for developing young players and I can’t wait to get started.
“As soon as I met the coaches, I knew this was a club where I could develop as a player and push myself on.”
Striker Lewis Salmon made two appearances for Altrincham’s first-team as they finished 17th in the National League, after scoring three in 11 on loan at Stalybridge Celtic.
His previous loan yielded an impressive 13 goals in 35 games for Trafford in the Northern Premier League North West.
He said, “I can’t wait to get started.
“I’ve been with Altrincham for 18 months and been on loan a couple of times so I feel I’ve gained a good amount of experience already.
“I’m a player that works really hard and enjoys scoring goals, so I’m delighted to be given this opportunity.
“The Academy set-up here is really good. [Academy Director] Gary Brazil and [U23s Head Coach] Andy Reid really sold the club to me and I’m delighted to be here.”
The club has also announced some key contract renewals ahead of its first season competing in Premier League 2 against some of the country’s best academies.
Under-23s players Riley Harbottle, Sam Sanders, Josh Barnes and Jordan Wright have all agreed new terms at the club, while Forest are being linked with two young goalkeepers.
It is believed that Joe Watkins has joined the Reds after being released by Charlton Athletic.
The club’s Academy manager, Steve Avory, confirmed to the club website that the player had been offered a contract at Forest, though his new club are yet to officially announce the signing.
Andy Reid is keen to add goalkeeping options after George Shelvey departed on loan to Mansfield Town for the season in June.
Former Rangers goalkeeper Nicky Hogarth is reportedly also close to joining the Forest academy ranks on a two-year deal.
He’s spent time at Cowdenbeath, Stirling Albion and Caledonia Braves, but was unable to force his way into Steven Gerrard’s plans after his side won the Scottish Premiership title.
Finally, the Reds are reportedly “seriously interested” in former Ajax midfielder Zian Flemming, who contributed 19 Eredivise goals for Fortuna Sittard last season.
Featured image credit: Nottingham Forest Football Club