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Record-breaker Sopuruchukwu Obieri becomes Cheltenham Town’s youngest ever player

Sopuruchukwu Obieri became Cheltenham Town’s youngest player in their history last Tuesday night at the age of just 15 year’s old, as he came off the bench in The Robins’ 4-0 defeat to West Ham under 21s in the EFL Trophy.

Obieri broke the record following Cameron Walters’ debut in October 2022 who at the time was 16 years & 9 days old, Walters also featured in the defeat on Tuesday.

Academy manager Tim Bell has overseen Obieri’s development in recent years.

“It provides the entire club with great satisfaction when one of our young players earns a senior first team appearance, to be named in a first team squad and to make an appearance must be well earned and Sopuruchukwu has continually shown maturity beyond his years in his performances and shows a thirst to be the best he can be.”

“Sopuruchukwu like so many of our young players has super strengths that allow him to compete and excel in the U18s at the age of 15, the first team Manager and his staff came to watch the U18’s in the FA Youth Cup away at Bristol rovers last week and a week later decided to give a group of them inculding Sopuruchukwu their opporunity vs West Ham.”

Bell stressed the importance on coming through the academy and how much it means to Cheltenham to be producing such young talent.

“We like to think we can give players in our care 10,000 different exepriences that they can look back on and be proud off wherever their football journey may lead.”

“Their time with us is full of memories that would not be possible if they hadn’t been in an academy.”

Fellow teammate and academy graduate Freddy Wilcox has already been involved in the first team and described what kind of player Obieri is.

“Sopuru as a player shows great strength and provides us with a real physical presence at the top end of the pitch, having a great eye for goal.”

Wilcox playing for Cheltenham u18s vs Forest Green u18s

“As a character he’s never phased with what is put in front of him and is an all round good person to have.”

Another scholar in the academy Bradley Burgess has seen Obieri grow through the academy.

“Sopuru is a good lad and a strong lad as well which is shown in his games, being one of the youngest in the changing rooms he’s not the loudest but he is starting to integrate with us a lot more the more he’s playing with us.”

Obieri joins the list of Cheltenham Town youngsters to complete this acheievement with Walters, Will Armitage who is now at Southampton and another former Saints prospect, Simon Goodwin who made his debut more than 25 years ago.

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