Lewis Hall and Jack Batten sign professional forms for home-town club Bristol City
Bristolians Lewis Hall and Jack Batten have realised a lifelong ambition to become professional footballers.
The teenagers have signed contracts with Bristol City after impressing in the Championship club’s Academy and Under-21 teams this season.
Hall and Batten follow in the footsteps of Kevin Krans, Luke Dobie, Joe Morrell and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, who have all been offered professional terms since the turn of the year.
A versatile midfielder, Bristol-born Hall joined City’s Academy three years ago at the age of 15 and is reputed to possess a deadly left foot shot.
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A first year scholar, defender Batten, 17, has earned his deal ahead of schedule after being fast-tracked by Ashton Gate staff. The rangy Bristolian operates as a centre half and has been on City’s books since the age of 13.
Willie McStay, head of Academy coaching, said: “We’re delighted to reward both Lewis and Jack with their first professional contracts.
“Lewis has a terrific left foot and versatility that allows him to operate anywhere across the midfield or even at full-back.
“His knowledge of the game has been at a level that has allowed him to progress. He’s still developing, as is any young player, but he now has the opportunity to push on again.
“With Jack, he’s been a leader at every age group and showed real maturity and confidence throughout. By offering him a professional deal a year early, we’re acknowledging the progress he has been making.
“Both players have been captains for us and have excelled at under-21 level. We’ve put together a group that are working hard together and we want to continue adding to that group for the benefit of the football club.”
Hall and Batten will in future train with City’s first team squad where they will work alongside fellow Bristolians Louis Carey, Cole Skuse, Bobby Reid and Joe Bryan.