What Became Of Leeds’ Likely Lads Of 2015?

Frickley v LeedsU21 (2) wm

Three years ago, on Sat 25 July 2015, the Leeds United Under 21 side played a pre-season friendly at Frickley Athletic of the Northern Premier League (a club at the third level of English non-league). With Ronaldo Vieira having bogged off to Sampdoria this week for a fee of around 7 million of yer English quids (+potentially rising to circa 10 million according to most reports), the Dribbling Code research department takes a look at what happened to the rest of that particular crop of players – of whom now only goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and left-back Tom Pearce are still at the club (plus Tyler Denton and Malik Wilkes = also still Leeds, but out on long-term loans for the 2018-19 season).

Match details: Frickley Athletic 3-1 Leeds United U21   (Sat 25 July 2015)


Frickley: Simon Lenighan (4 mins), Chris Wood (14), Brad Dockerty (70)

Leeds: Eoghan Stokes (30)

[Dribbling Code Man-Of-the-Match = Brad Dockerty of Frickley]

This was one of four U21 games played by Leeds in the pre-season – the others being at Pickering Town (won 4-0), North Ferriby Utd (lost 2-1) and Barrow (drew 0-0). There was also a further game at Taddy Albion, where a mix of mostly U21s with a few regular first teamers were included.
Information has been gleaned (read hastily cobbled together) from various sources – any errors, please let us know via the comments section below or message on twitter (@dribblingcode)… and if anyone can fill in the gap regarding where Tom Lyman went after his brief spell at Guiseley in late 2016?

2015 07 25 FA v Leeds Teamsheet

Leeds United U21 Team:

(Ages given = at the time of the match)
 1.Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Age 18, goalkeeper) Pro-contract years: 2015-Present (4)
  • Made first team debut in April 2016 as a sub (following dismissal of Silvestri).
  • Spent 2016-17 season as third choice keeper and didn’t play for first team, but signed new three-year deal in July 2017.
  • Had pre-season trial with Oldham, but they passed on the offer of a season-long loan. Instead, went on loan to York for a month playing 4 times for first team.
  • In March 2018, nearly two years after his debut, made first start for Leeds following the poor form and dropping of regular keeper Wiedwald. Retained place and ended season as first-choice keeper, also winning Leeds Young Player Of The Season award.
  • Has also made 1 app each for Northern Ireland U21s and Northern Ireland Senior side.
First Team apps: 12                         Now at: Still with Leeds
  1. Jack Vann (Age 17, defender) 2016-17 (1)
  • Had been with Leeds since age eight, was named on the bench for first team in Jan 2017, but never played for first team.
  • Released by Leeds in May 2017. Signed for Harrogate Town on a one-year contract but went out on loan to Gainsborough Trinity, having failed to break into first team and was then released by Harrogate in May 2018.
First Team apps: 0.            Now at: without a club following release by Harrogate Town
  1. Tyler Denton (Age 19, left back) 2014-Present (5)
  • Dewsbury born, joined Leeds in 2003 and graduated through the academy.
  • One cap for England U17s in 2011. Was made captain of U21s for 2015-16 season.
  • Called up to first team squad for pre-season friendlies in summer 2016 and started the 2016-17 season as second-choice left-back behind Charlie Taylor. Made first team debut in Aug 2016 in League Cup away at Luton + scored the only goal of the game with a strike from the edge of the box. Immediately after this, he signed a new two-year contract extension up to June 2019. Made 2 further app’s in FA Cup.
  • Signed new three-year contact in Aug 2017, and the same month began a season-long loan at League 2 Port Vale, with option of a recall in January. Made 15 apps, then lost his place in first team following change of manager so was recalled to Leeds in Jan 2018.
  • July 2018 joined Peterborough United on a season-long loan. (Prior to joining Peterborough, he was also subject to a loan offer from Italian Serie B Side Brescia, who were now owned by previous Leeds Owner Massimo Cellino).
First Team apps: 3             Now at: Peterborough United on loan from Leeds
  1. Alex Purver (Age 19, midfield or defender) 2014-17 (3)
  • Captain of Development Squad in 2014-15, + continued to make progress, subsequently captaining the Under-21 side in 2015-16 (including in this game v Frickley).
  • In pre-season 2016-17 he played in some first team friendlies + hopes rose that he would be included in the first-team squad. However, Aug 2016 saw him join National League side Guiseley on loan until January. He returned to Leeds in January when his loan expired, but joined Guiseley in March 2017 for a further loan spell until end of season.
  • When released by Leeds in May 2017 he joined Guiseley on a permanent deal.
First Team apps: 0. Now at: Guiseley
  1. Ross Killock (Age 21, centre-half) 2012-2016 (4)
  • Regular in first team at Conference National side Alfreton whilst on loan in 2012-13 season. Ended season as an unused sub for Leeds in final league game at Watford in May 2013.
  • Played in first team friendly at Farsley in July 2013, also playing in two further friendlies in Slovenia. Given a squad number for 2013-14 season, but rejoined development squad and was loaned to Chester in Oct 2013 for remainder of the season, making 17 starts in Conference.
  • After being an unused sub on three occasions for first team in early part of 2014-15, joined Halifax Town in Jan 2015 on a month’s loan.
  • Joined Conference North side Stockport County on initial two-month loan in Nov 2015, later extended to end of season.
  • Released by Leeds in May 2016. Joined Chester for 2016-17, but suffered a hamstring injury missing pre-season, and then suffered a further injury just 10 mins into his comeback in Oct 2016. Released by Chester at end of season and then joined Stalybridge Celtic in Sept 2017.
  • Joined Scarborough for 2018-19 season
First Team apps: 0. Now at: Scarborough Athletic

Frickley v LeedsU21 (5) wm

  1. Jake Skelton (Age 19, centre-half) 2013/4-16 (2/3?)
  • With Leeds Academy since U10s level. Included in first team squad for pre-season tour of Italy in 2014. In Oct 2014 joined Guiseley on a month’s loan.
  • May 2015 signed new one-year contract. 2015-16 season included a loan to North Ferriby Utd.
  • Released by Leeds in May 2016. Following an unsuccessful trial with Sheff Weds, signed for National League side North Ferriby in July 2016 and made over 50 apps for them before signing for NPL side Shaw Lane in Jan 2018.
First Team apps: 0. Now at: without a club following demise of Shaw Lane
  1. Eoghan Stokes (Age 19, Midfield/forward) 2016(?)-18 (2?)
  • Spotted playing in Ireland and signed by Leeds in 2012 aged 16. Made first team debut in League Cup in Aug 2017, his only app for the club.
  • Contract terminated by mutual consent in Feb 2018, with Stokes citing a desire to play competitive games in Ireland rather than U23s in England which he described as ‘fake football that wasn’t benefitting me in any way’. Two weeks later joined League Of Ireland Premier Division side Bohemians and made over 20 apps before end of season. Has played for Rep Of Ireland at U16, U17 and U19 level.
First Team apps: 1. Now at: Bohemian FC (League Of Ireland, Premier Division)
  1. Chris Dawson (Age 20, midfield) 2012-16 (4)
  • Dewsbury born, signed for Leeds at age 9 and turned pro in September 2012. In October 2012 he was given a contract until June 2015, and spent much of the season playing in the U21s having been moved from the U18s.
  • After four unused sub apps, he made his first team debut in April 2013 at home to Derby, starting the game and playing for just under an hour. Then manager Neil Warnock singled him out for praise, suggesting: “Dawson’s got a little bit about him. He’s a breath of fresh air and he’s the future. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t become a very integral part of the team. He’s a Johnny Giles type of player where size doesn’t really matter because he’s got ability.” March 2013 also saw him win the first of two caps at U21 level for Wales.
  • Signed new three-year contract in May 2013, but failed to appear for first team in 2013-14 season under new manager Brian McDermott.
  • Made 3 appearances for Leeds as a sub in 2014-15 season.
  • Having failed to make any apps for first team in 2015-16 season though, in Jan 2016 he was released from his Leeds contact and joined up again immediately with Neil Redfearn at Rotherham until the end of the season. However, he did not play for the first team at Rotherham.
  • 2016-17 included 4-month loan with Viking Stavanger in Norway, then returned to Rotherham till the end of the season before being released by them.
  • Reportedly without a club in summer 2017, + following a spell out with an ACL injury, in March 2018 signed for NPL D1 North side Scarborough Ath till end of season, helping them to earn promotion.
  • Signed for National League North side Bradford Park Avenue in July 2018 after impressing on trial.
First Team apps: 4. Now at: Bradford Park Avenue
  1. Frank Mulhern (Age 18) 2015-17 (2)
  • A local-to-Frickley lad from South Elmsall +brother of Hull KR and Ireland RL player Robbie. Played for Huddersfield Town juniors, before joining Leeds in May 2009.
  • In Sept 2016, shortly after taking over at Leeds, Garry Monk said, “Frank has got a massive future. The Championship is tough and demanding, but Frank has the physical attributes to handle it and he can flourish, given a chance.”
  • Loaned to Southport in Sept 2016 but recalled early after suffering a hamstring injury. Released by Leeds age 20 in Feb 2017 and rejoined Huddersfield Town U23 Development squad, but was released at start of May 2017 following Huddersfield’s promotion to the Premier League.
  • Joined Guiseley in Aug 2017, scored twice for them but spent most of the season out on loan elsewhere – a month each at Harrogate Town and Alfreton Town, and three months at Bradford Park Avenue.
  • Sold to Stockport County at the end of May 2018 for an undisclosed fee.
  • Has been capped by Rep of Ireland at U18 and U19 level.
First Team apps: 0. Now at: Stockport County
  1. Luke Parkin (Age 19 forward) 2013-16 (3)
  • With Leeds’ academy since age seven, but released in March 2016 having failed to progress to the first team squad, having opted to leave his contract two months early to look for another club.
  • Following a trial with AFC Fylde and a short spell at Gainsborough Trinity, he then joined his local club Brighouse Town in the Northern Premier League Div 1 at the start of 2016-17 season.
  • After a season at Brighouse, in June 2017 he signed for Farsley Celtic. In July 2018 Farsley reported that he had re-signed for the upcoming season.
First Team apps: 0. Now at: Farsley Celtic
  1. Tom Lyman (Age 18, midfield) 2015-16 (1)
  • Had spent some time on loan at Guiseley during the 2014-15 season before signing pro.
  • Released by Leeds in May 2016. Signed for Guiseley and made his first team debut at start of Nov 2016, though was only there for a brief period and info on what happened next is lacking online.
First Team apps: 0.            Now at: ?
Frickley v LeedsU21 (30) wm
  1. Eric Grimes (Age 20, goalkeeper) 2013/4?-16 (2/3?)
  • Joined Leeds in summer 2011. Signed first pro contract in either 2013 or 14. Signed further one-year contract in summer 2015. Released in May 2016. Signed for League of Ireland side Cork City in July 2016.
  • Having failed to feature for the first team at Cork, signed for Derry City in Jan 2017.
  • Is an Ireland U21 International.
First Team apps: 0.            Now at: Derry City
  1. Jack Turnbull (Age 17, defender) (no pro contract)
  • Joined Leeds Academy aged 7 in July 2005. Released May 2016 (while still a scholar).
  • Joined Northern Premier League Div 1 South side Sheffield FC in July 2016.
First Team apps: 0.            Now at: Sheffield FC
  1. Robbie McDaid (Age 18, forward) 2014-16 (2)
  • From Northern Ireland, is a NI U21 international. Signed from Irish League side Glenavon on a two-year deal after having impressed in a trial game. Joined Lincoln City on loan in Jan 2016 till end of the season, where he scored 4 goals in 17 league apps (mostly from the bench).
  • Released by Leeds in May 2016. Then after picking up an injury pre-season, and having trails with several clubs, he eventually signed for York City in Nov 2016. Only made a handful of apps for York though, so returned to Northern Ireland and signed for Glentoran in Aug 2017, following a short trial for Gainsborough Trinity in July ‘17.
First Team apps: 0. Now at: Glentoran (Northern Ireland Football League Premiership)
  1. Tom Pearce (Age17, defender) 2016-present (3)
  • Played for Everton youth academy before joining Leeds in 2014.
  • After impressing in the U23s, was called up to first team in Jan 2018 and named on the bench away at Newport in the FA Cup. Named on bench for a league game for the first time later the same month. Made league debut in March 2018 in 2-1 defeat at home to Sheff Weds, going on to make 4 further league apps that season and being one of four players nominated for Leeds’ Young Player Of The Year award.
  • Also called up to England U21s for first time in May 2018, making debut in friendly against China in the Toulon Tournament in France.
  • Signed new four-year deal with Leeds in June 2018.
First Team apps: 5             Now at: Leeds United
  1. Malik Wilkes (Age 16, forward)
  • Local Leeds lad from Chapeltown who graduated through the club’s academy.
  • Dec 2016 saw him called up to the first team squad as an unused sub against Reading. This also led to him signing an 18-month pro contract in Dec 2016.
  • Made first team debut coming on as a sub against Sutton United in FA Cup in Jan 2017.
  • Signed new four-year contract in Aug 2017, also joining League 2 Accrington Stanley on a four-month loan the same day. Made 18 league apps for Accrington (which meant he later received a League Two winners medal!) then joined Grimsby Town on loan in Jan 2018 until the end of the season. Returned to Leeds though in March ‘18 after playing a handful of times then picking up a hamstring injury.
  • July 2018 joined Doncaster Rovers on a 6-month loan till Jan 2019.
First Team apps: 1.            Now at: Doncaster Rovers (on loan from Leeds)


 18. Ronaldo Vieira (Age 17, midfield) 2016-18 (2)
  • Ronny V had just turned 17 at the time of the game. He came on as a second-half sub, and almost three years to the day later, was signing a five-year deal with Sampdoria in Italy for a deal reported to be worth around £7 million plus potential add-ons.
  • Born in Guinea-Bissau, raised in Portugal from age five, and began his career at Benfica’s Academy. When his family moved to England in 2011 partly to increase their work prospects, a second factor they considered was to allow Ronaldo and his twin brother Romario (who would later also sign with Leeds in 2016 before being released in May 2018) the opportunity to develop a football career.
  • After playing in the north east for Whitley Bay Boys Club, the family moved to Batley and he played for Batley Phoenix in the Huddersfield Junior League, whilst having unsuccessful trials for Man City and Hull City.
  • He later studied at York College and joined the i2i Football Academy, joining Leeds Academy following a trial and making his debut in the U18s in a 0-0 draw against Barnsley U18s in April 2015. He also simultaneously played with the U21 squad, making his debut the same month in a 1-1 draw against an Isle Of Man side in Douglas. July saw him used as a second half sub at the U21s 3-0 win at Tadcaster Albion, then ten days later came this game at Frickley – so I guess you could also say this was his first taste of defeat in a Leeds shirt! (mind you, he was up against the likes of Hinsley and Jeffsy, who regularly turned down offers from various Italian giants during their time at Frickley).
  • He was then awarded a scholarship with Leeds, making 24 starts for the U18s and 8 starts for the U21s in 2015-16.
  • In May 2016 he signed a two-year pro contract, making his first team debut two days later in a league game at Preston, and was subsequently elevated to the first team squad for pre-season.
  • He made his first league start in the opening game of the 2016-17 season, and by September 2016 had signed an improved three-year contract.
  • Made 38 league apps in 2016-17 season, being named Young Player Of The Year, and in May 2017 was called up to the England U21 squad, making his debut in a friendly against Angola that same month.
  • Signed a new four-year contract in May 2017, and the 2017-18 season saw him make a further 29 league apps for Leeds. However, after being subject to a bid from Italian Serie A club Sampdoria, and with new manager Marcelo Bielsa now in charge, July 2018 saw him transferred abroad after the bid was accepted by Leeds. Following the completion of his move abroad, Vieira told the Dribbling Code (along with his 65 thousand other followers on social media): “I have nothing but love for Leeds United. Sometimes in life things don’t go as you want them to go, but then you have to take these opportunities and give it your everything – the same way as I always have done. I started my career at Leeds and have many great memories. It has been amazing home and away – you are the best fans in the world.”
First Team apps: 71. Now at: Sampdoria (Italy, Serie A)

 Frickley v LeedsU21 (39) wm

Further Reading:
Match report and more photos available here:
Dribbling Code on Twitter:

Frickley v LeedsU21 (13) wm

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