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Academy update, Port Vale transfer, O’Neill on Smallbone: The latest Stoke City news headlines you might have missed



It is now just days until Stoke City get their 2022/23 Championship campaign underway.

The Potters face a tricky match in the season opener, though, with a trip to The Den to face Millwall up first.

Michael O’Neill will be hoping his side can better their 14th place Championship finish from 2021/22.

With that being said, there are still plenty of headlines surrounding the club despite it being just a few days before the campaign kicks off.

Here, we’ve pulled together the latest Potters headlines that you might have missed.

Academy update

One of the headlines that has emerged at the club today is regarding the status of the club’s academy.

As per the Stoke City webite, the club’s academy has retained its category 1 status ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

Their statement read: “Following a full audit in October, the PGB has determined that the Club be granted a full, three-year Category One licence from the 2022/23 season.”

“The week-long site visit focussed on several departments including coaching, sports science, medical, player care, safeguarding and education.

“The Academy were highly commended for its coaching programme and link with the first team, while its safeguarding provision was praised by Barnardo’s.”

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Player exit

Another Stoke City headline that has emerged today is that young defender Will Forrester is set to make the switch to Stoke’s local rivals Port Vale.

As per StokeonTrentLive, the 21-year-old is set to join the Valiants on a permanent deal this summer.

Forrester spent time out on loan in League Two last season, linking up with Mansfield Town.

During his spell with the Stags, Forrester made seven appearances in all competitions.

The 21-year-old also featured three times in the Championship for Stoke City.

O’Neill on Smallbone

Last but not least, Potters boss Michael O’Neill has revealed the reason why the club signed Southampton’s Will Smallbone.

The Saints midfielder joined the Potters on loan over the weekend, and Michael O’Neill has said another injury picked up by Nick Powell was a     factor in the decision to bring Smallbone in.

“Will is another creative player; he’s an attacking midfield player who can play as a 10 and as an eight,” said O’Neill, via StokeonTrentLive.

“We have an injury situation with Nick Powell, so we felt that we needed something in that area.

“John O’Shea knows him extremely well, and the opportunity to do it was there.

“He’s an exciting player that I think the fans will like – he scores and makes goals, and it was good to get that over the line.”

Freelance writer currently covering all things EFL for Football League World

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Academy update, Port Vale transfer, O’Neill on Smallbone: The latest Stoke City news headlines you might have missed

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