U's apprentice Saleem Akanbi recognised in LFE showcase

First-year apprentice Saleem Akanbi has been named in the LFE 11 (League Football Education) for May 2021...

The 11 acknowledges the football and academic progress of Under-18 players on apprenticeships at current or former English Football League (EFL) clubs – and is also designed to assess other factors, including involvement in community or charity-based initiatives.

Cambridge United's Saleem endured a tough start to his apprenticeship after suffering with a hamstring injury during the third game of pre-season, which sidelined him for a large chunk of the competitive season.

The 17-year-old showcased terrific resilience to make a strong recovery on the pitch, while he has flourished in the classroom, performing ahead of schedule on the BTEC Extended Diploma – equivalent to three A-Levels – alongside studying A-Levels in Economics and English Literature.

“Saleem has displayed a positive mindset to rehab properly and come back fitter than ever,” Vanessa Walker, Head of Education, told LFE. “He also showed himself to be a real team player by supporting the playing squad, where possible, and has put in some really good performances since his return.

“Saleem is an outstanding learner. He has an inspiring passion for his studies. He always pushes himself to his maximum and is willing to listen and learn more on how he can improve. Saleem has growth mindset to everything he does, and he can often be found away from the rest of the apprentices, with a laptop as he keeps on top of his A-Levels.”

On behalf of everyone connected to Cambridge United, congratulations Saleem! To read more about The 11 and this month's selected players, please click here.