Middlesbrough FC news: Youngster signs new deal as Ashley Fletcher discusses first week back

Middlesbrough defender Nathan Wood has signed his first professional contract with the club.

Thursday, 27th June 2019, 18:35 pm
Updated Friday, 28th June 2019, 07:20 am
Ashley Fletcher is looking forward to working with new Middlesbrough coach Robbie Keane.

Wood, now 17, is the youngest ever player to represent Boro’s senior side, after making his first-team debut in the Carabao Cup against Notts County last season – aged just 16 years and 75 days,

The teenager, who has played regularly at centre-back for the club’s under-23 side, went on to feature against Rochdale and Preston in the Carabao Cup, and has also captained England’s under-17 side.

Wood is one of the several academy graduates who has been training with Boro’s first team this week, after most of the squad returned to pre-season training.

On Thursday, new head coach Jonathan Woodgate was joined by all four members of his coaching team following the arrival of Leo Percovich.

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The Uruguayan joined up with new assistant, former Tottenham and Ireland striker Robbie Keane, as well as goalkeeping coach Danny Coyne who both arrived earlier in the week.

Speaking to the club’s website, Boro striker Ashley Fletcher was asked about the first week back, to which he replied: “It’s been tough but good to get the balls out in the last couple of days, obviously meeting the staff as well, Leo, Robbie, Danny Coyne, it’s been good to get to know them.

“There’s been a lot of fresh faces and joining in from the young lads as well, they’re hungry as well to try and stake a claim to get in to the team and that’s what it’s about as a young player, all you want is an opportunity.”

Fletcher is understandably looking forward to working with Keane, who scored over 100 Premier League goals as a player.

“His record speaks for itself,” added Fletcher.

“To be able to work with someone like him on a daily basis is only going to benefit me and the other strikers as well so we can’t wait to get going.”

Boro will travel to Austria for their first pre-season game against local side AK Grazer, which is set to take place on on July 5.