Chester FC can confirm that teenage striker Will Goodwin has joined Stoke City.
The 18-year-old has put pen to paper with the EFL Championship side after an undisclosed fee was agreed, which includes a sell-on clause and other potential add-ons.
Will signed his first senior deal at the Deva Stadium in June – becoming the 16th Chester Academy Graduate to make the step up from the Youth Team to the First Team since reformation.
The striker had a successful run in the side during December and scored his maiden senior goal in the FA Trophy win over Bradford (PA) in the middle of that month.
Goodwin departs the Deva having made 11 appearances for the club, which included a debut at 17 years old in the same competition last January at Royston Town.
Joint Manager Anthony Johnson had this to say…
“From a point of view as managers, myself and Bern are gutted to be losing Will. He’s been around the first team now for last 12 months and progressed terrifically well to being a bonafide first team regular.
“From a point of view as being managers of a club that develop their own players though, this is a fantastic and thoroughly deserved move for the boy.
“His all-action displays belied his young age, and his work rate was second to none. We’ll continue working with the amazing young players coming through our juniors and academy and continue to watch them flourish and grow and eventually moving onto bigger things.
“Huge credit must be paid to Calum and his team of coaches and scouts that have nurtured the talent Will possesses all the way through his journey with Chester Football Club.
“Every young player will see that there is a clear pathway to our first team and beyond.”
Will first joined the club at the age of just nine and is the fourth Academy Graduate to make the step up to a Premier League or EFL side, following Sam Hughes, James Jones and Tom Crawford.
He caught the eye as the Under-18’s Captain during the FA Youth Cup campaign of 2019/20, scoring six goals in four matches.
Academy Head Coach Calum McIntyre said…
“This is absolutely fabulous news for Will, and I am simply delighted for him and his wonderful family.
“Will has been at the football club for a long time and this opportunity is much deserved for his talent and commitment. He was even in the first group I ever coached at the football club when he was just a ten-year-old boy!
“It has been a pleasure to witness his development and I pay tribute to the Academy coaches, many of them volunteers, for their work in aiding Will’s development.
“We’ve done it again and this is another success for our Academy.
“Once again, our small resources – the ‘Freddos and Haribo’ – have developed a player for Chester FC to be sold for a significant transfer fee and we have done it our way. I am so proud of everyone involved.”
Best of luck for the future, Will!