Congratulations to Jude Russell, who is the winner of the EA SPORTS Academy Player of the Month for March.
This is awarded to a member of the club's academy on a monthly basis and this latest award goes to the 15 year old Under 18’s defender Jude Russell.
Russell spoke to eagles.cpfc.co.uk after he picked up the award saying “Yeah, March was brilliant, I was lucky Paddy [McCarthy] gave me the opportunity to play for the under 18s and we’ve gone four games unbeaten. We’ve won three and drawn one against Birmingham on the weekend and there are two matches left, hopefully we can get two wins out of them.”
The young defender remembers growing up as a Crystal Palace fan and shares his memories of growing up in SE25.
“I’m from Crystal Palace, five minutes from Selhurst. I’ve supported Palace all my life. I went to the Play-off final when they went up and the FA Cup final, unlucky we lost. All of my family are Palace fans, I’ve just been brought up on Palace.”
Looking forward to his future career, Russell has huge aspirations: “My perfect future, I’d like to be playing in the first-team as soon as possible and get an England call-up!”
Academy Coach Jack said: "Jude’s young and he’s playing in the under 18’s at the moment, but he’s only just turned 15, so we are pushing him. He’s an athletic defender and comfortable across the back four.”
“Where Jude stands out is in his emergency defending, his last ditch blocks, tackles, headers and clearances. He is not your typical academy type style player, where they are technical. I’m not saying Jude hasn’t got the technical ability, but that [physical] side of things he’s really grasped. Working with Paddy has really helped kick him on.
In terms of picking the winner, the academy management ask each age group manager to submit a POTM from their group. The management then discuss the nominees and decide on the overall winner to receive the award.
CLICK HERE to watch an interview with Jude.