Whilst flicking through Danny Cowley’s followers on Twitter earlier I happened across a player that piqued my interest somewhat. You see, I found more than just the three Aston Villa youngsters there. I found a fourth player just released by Villa. His name is Jerell Sellars.
Is the name familiar to you? It might well be. Through the course of my digging I found out that young Jerell, star of the Villa under 23 side, actually signed for them from none other than Lincoln City.
He’s 21 now, but he was 16 when he left Sincil Bank, having been with us since the age of 11. He left the same year that our under 18’s won the Midland Youth Cup, beating Chesterfield 3-0 in the final, but at the time he was a Centre of Excellence player waiting for his chance. Relegation from the Football League brought about restricted budget, and although that wasn’t necessarily why we lost Jerell, both him and a player called George Berkes left. Berkes went to Leicester and latterly Barnet, Sellars excelled in the Villa youth set-up.
Sellars is a former Lowlands youth player, appearing in the Mid Lincs Youth League and his father is none other than Terry Fleming.
The only professional football he has played though came at Wycombe Wanderers last season. He played on-loan, starting five games and coming on three times as a sub. He returned to Villa, and despite a good scoring record in their reserves, he revealed this week that he won’t be going back to Villa Park. He understood he was to be released, and utilising twitter he made the first move. Danny will have seen that, obviously.
Sellars is a capable attacker on any side of a front three, 5’8 and devastatingly quick, although much to his ire FIFA 17 only had his pace at 69! www.claretvillains.com reports that despite his promise he was never quite able to beat his fellow forwards to a place on the first team bench, namely Keinan Davis, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, or André Green.
Jerell Sellars is one of the ones that got away. History is littered with them, many years ago Mark Wallington was a Lincoln youth but didn’t play for us until he was 35. Steve Holmes didn’t make it as a youth, but came back with great effect. Jamie Clapham slipped through the net, as did Steve Froggatt. More recently Reece Thompson was an Imps youth player that ended up going from Barnsley to North Ferriby via York City without every graduating to our first team. Quite often young players in the city end up slipping through the net.
I’ll be keeping a keen eye out in the coming weeks to see if this ambitious young man shows any indication of coming home for a second stab at life with Lincoln City. In the meantime here is some footage of a player that started his education in Lincoln City colours.