Versatile defensive player Akil Wright has become the next star to graduate to the Football League from Ilkeston FC’s production line after signing a deal with League One side Fleetwood Town.
Wright, 18, has been deployed across the Robins’ back line as well as in midfield during his time at the club, the Derby-born youngster having come through the impressive academy set-up at the New Manor Ground.
He impressed watching Fleetwood scouts during the 1-0 win at Blyth Spartans on Tuesday night and follows in the footsteps of another former Robin, Ashley Hunter, who signed for Fleetwood in January and who has already established himself as part of manager Graham Alexander’s first-team squad.
An undisclosed but sizeable fee has been paid up front for Wright’s services with future clauses also included in the deal.
Robins boss Kevin Wilson, who has also seen Che Adams, Kieran Wallace (both Sheffield United) and Kane Richards (Chester) depart for higher levels this season, said he is delighted Wright, who himself began his career at Sheffield United, has earned the move.
He said: “Akil is a lad we knew would get back to a higher level before too long and once again it’s a credit to the club and how we’re operating that he’s got a great move like this.
“He’s versatile and looks comfortable in several defensive positions as well as in midfield where we’ve nicknamed him ‘Yaya’ given how similarly he plays to Yaya Toure. I think that could well be where he ends up playing regularly in the future.
“We’re delighted for him. The philosophy has always been to bring academy players through or to reinvent those that come here and go straight into the first team. The evidence of it working has been there to see given how many have left us this season.
“I’ve been with Akil all the way through and he’s a great lad who has been an absolute pleasure to work with.”