6 Lezama Starlets Included In The Initial Fútbol Draft Top Youth Players List
Since 2006, the Fútbol Draft has been recognizing the top youth players in Spain. Each year, youth coaches from the Spain Football Federation and academy experts meet to form an initial list which is then trimmed down over time to a Golden XI, Silver XI, and Bronze XI. The first committee meeting was recently held at Las Rozas to establish a list of 99 players to start from, which included six starlets from Lezama.
Oihan Sancet, Unai Vencedor, Jesús Areso, Asier Córodoba, Aitor Paredes, and Beñat Prados were all included in the initial 99 with hopes of advancing in the next round of cuts. Sancet and Vencedor have already made their first team debuts, while Areso has been called up to Gaizka Garitano squad without actually seeing the field.
Córdoba has had a challenging year. Plagued by injuries at the start, the winger hasn’t been able to break into the starting lineup but has played well when given the chance. Paredes and Prados both started the year with Basconia where they have been key players, but lately have been featuring for Bilbao Athletic due to injuries in the squad.
Lezama continues to be one of the top youth academies in Spain and highly praised throughout Europe. Last year, seven players were included in the initial list with Peru Nolaskoain making it as far as the final 55 before being cut. Vencedor, Paredes, and Córdoba were also in the first list 12 months ago and are hoping to advance even further this time around.
The Fútbol Draft Committee is chaired by former Athletic player and coach Iñaki Sáez. Other former Athletic players include Julen Guerrero, now the Spain U16 coach, and Luis de la Fuente, who is currently coaching the Spain U21 team. The rest of the committee is comprised of the remaining Spain youth coaches as well as several youth football experts such as Aritz Gabilondo.