Footballer from North Wales with Hollywood dreams receives Oscar for his leading role

HARRY ASHFIELD won an Oscar for his leading role at Wrexham AFC this season.

The Coleg Cambria student and U18 midfielder, who made his senior debut in the autumn, received the Bob Clark Academy 2023/24 Player of the Season award after a series of impressive performances and having captained the team on several occasions.

The team narrowly lost out to rivals Preston in the battle for the EFL Youth Alliance North-West league title, but looking back on an “incredible year”, Harry was delighted with the progress he has made.

“Playing for the first team and contributing to the success of the U18s – even though we narrowly missed out on the title – was a huge plus for me,” says the 17-year-old, who comes from the city and has been with the Red Dragons since he was six years old.

“I’ve already had a taste of what it’s like to play in front of our fantastic fans at STōK Cae Ras and my goal now is to keep working and training hard so I can experience that again and again.

“Winning the Academy Player of the Season award is also a huge honour, so I would like to thank everyone who has supported me so much this season, especially my family, friends and everyone at the club.”

Harry's first appearance for Phil Parkinson's side came in the 3-0 EFL Trophy win over Crewe Alexandra at Mornflake Stadium last October.

A Level 3 student-athlete at Yale's Cambria campus and a former student of Darland High School, his goal is to become a regular on the team after this taste of the big prize, as the club now enjoys a global reputation under the leadership of Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

“I've been training with the first team for the last couple of years, which has obviously been quite a whirlwind given what's happened on and off the pitch – it's been incredible,” he added.

“I will finish college this summer and then focus on my football career.”

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Sally Jones, curriculum director for physical education, public service and business at Yale, congratulated Harry on his victory.

“Harry has made great progress this season, breaking into the first team and now winning the Academy Player of the Year award – we wish him all the very best for the future.”

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