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Development

Get to know the 7 Development talents going on tour

5 July 2019

Roy Hodgson has named seven Development players in his squad competing Switzerland for the Uhrencup.

Joining Luke Dreher and Sam Woods - who have both earned professional minutes for the first team - are also Nya Kirby, James Daly, Tyrick Mitchell, Nikola Tavares and Kian Flanagan.

Luke Dreher

Dreher has been unfortunate in recent seasons by being blighted with injury. The central midfielder’s first team debut was made all the more significant, then, given that it came at the end of a season in which he was forced into absence for a lengthy period of time.

Dreher hit the pitch against AFC Bournemouth in the final day of the 2018/19 season as the Eagles ran out to a 5-3 win, replacing Andros Townsend.

Before this, Dreher exhibited real prospect, being named Under-18s’ Player of the Season in May 2016. Later, he was named in the first team squad for games against Manchester United in the Premier League and then Middlesbrough in the League Cup.

He featured for the first team in last year’s pre-season schedule.

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Sam Woods

Another Development player to have earned first-team minutes, Woods now regularly travels with the senior squad and made his debut for Roy Hodgson’s men against Middlesbrough in the League Cup, an experience he described as “mixed emotions” as the Eagles lost that night.

Tall and assertive, Woods was a regular for Richard Shaw’s Under-23 side until he began to be selected more regularly for the first team.

Pre Season

Confirmed squad announced for pre-season tour of Switzerland

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Nya Kirby

A well-known name for a Development player, Kirby recently returned from a successful loan spell with Blackpool. While with the Seasiders, the 19-year-old netted a wonder goal against Luton Town and was named their Player of the Month for April.

Kirby was also a member of England's victorious Under-17 World Cup-winning squad in 2017, and the midfielder played in six of their seven games in India, scoring the crucial penalty in a shootout win against Japan in the last-16. He is the youngest member of the squad heading to Switzerland.

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James Daly

A talented, traditional left-footed centre forward, Daly recently returned to action with the Eagles and was awarded an extension to his contract towards the end of the pre-season break.

The 19-year-old spent much of last season on loan to Isthmian League Premier Division club Kingstonian before making a handful of emphatic appearances for the Under-23s as their campaign wound to a close. His return to SE25 was particularly impactful when he bagged a brace in the first half of a win over Sheffield United, his first match since joining Kingstonian the previous August.

SEE ALSO: New deal for Daly

Tyrick Mitchell

Mitchell signed for Palace from Brentford at the end of the 2015/16 season and earned his Development squad debut in 2016. In 2017/18, he then featured for both the Academy and Development squad as each won their respective leagues - racking up 27 games in the process.

Mitchell - a left back by trade - is pacy and attacking and regularly trains with the first team, though he is yet to be named in a first team squad. Signing a new deal in January 2019, Mitchell said: “I'm not quite close [to being a first team player] but every day I'm closer than I was yesterday. I'm training with the first-team often, every week.”

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Nikola Tavares

The latest Development player to have put pen to paper with a new deal for Palace, Tavares is a strong centreback who joined Palace from Brentford in 2016 and has since made his name in red and blue to earn 26 Development appearances last season.

His 2018/19 ended on the first team bench against AFC Bournemouth, something he described as “a great way to finish off the season”. Tavares has also played at Under-20 level for Croatia.

SEE ALSO: Pair of Palace Development players sign new contracts

Kian Flanagan

A talented midfielder with a keen eye for goal, Flanagan netted some spectacular efforts for the Development squad last season and was rewarded with Under-23s’ Player of the Season. The Development side’s joint-top scorer netted 10 goals in the last campaign and received praise from Academy Director Gary Issott, who said: “He’s a talented boy, he’s got great quality; a great technician and he can score those types of goals as well. He’s got good vision, to put people through on goal with a beautiful through-ball.”

Flanagan made his Under-23 debut aged just 15 and has stepped up to the Republic of Ireland’s Under-19 squad.

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