As someone who is very interested in the Leeds United Academy, it was great to hear from Roger Hosannah, the father of youth player Bryce Hosannah. He read my article ‘The Academy: Three players ready to make the leap into the first team’ and gave me some positive feedback on it, which was good to hear. When Bryce Hosannah joined Leeds United after being released from Crystal Palace, it was a bit of a surprise to many of the Crystal Palace and Leeds United fans. Roger Hosannah kindly got in touch with me and shared some information about his son’s background and how he ended up at Leeds United, enjoy!
“There has been plenty of speculation about Bryce, his background and how seemingly from nowhere, he ended up at Leeds United. His journey is evidence that young players develop in different ways and not always at the same pace. Something that not all academies recognise. Additionally, his arrival in the north is a result of the extensive network that the club’s sporting director, Victor Orta, possesses.
Bryce is a product of the Afewee Urban Football Club, that has recently received much well-earned publicity. The club is referenced frequently in Michael Calvin’s highly acclaimed book No Hunger in Paradise and the BT Sport documentary of the same name. Founder, Steadman Scott has a philosophy that teaches young players from the minute they start playing to treasure the football. He encourages dynamic attacking play from all over the pitch, which is clearly evident in the way Bryce plays. He is the latest right full back off the Afewee Urban ranks, following in the footsteps of Nathaniel Clyne and Mandela Egbo. Please see the recent Sun article on Steadman Scott and Afewee Urban Football Club
While the article and Calvin’s book accurately portrays a stereotypical approach to the mountain top of football, Bryce’s football education is far from that. He was educated at private school and first came to prominence playing for Chelsea coach Fiona Armfield’s Croydon district team, that would ultimately reach the national schools finals. This lead to him being scouted by Chelsea, Fulham and Crystal Palace. He and his family opted for him to join the latter as it was both close to home and most importantly his secondary school, Trinity School, part of the renowned Whitgift group of schools, producer of many top sporting talents. Bryce had by then received both sports and academic scholarships, following outstanding 11 plus entrance exams results and his excellence in both football and athletics. Bryce was a highly rated schoolboy 400 metre runner, giving him the ability to work the line and make lung busting runs on the football field.
Bryce’s time at Crystal Palace coincided with his time at Trinity School, where he was a participant in rugby, cricket and athletics, in addition to various school and representative football teams. He also received weekly enhanced private coaching from Anthony Gale, the son of ex-West Ham star Tony Gale, throughout this period.
As documented in No Hunger in Paradise, at the age of sixteen, Bryce received 5 A* and 4 As in his GCSEs and left Trinity School to pursue a career in professional football. Due to a perceived lack of physical stature, Bryce lacked game time at the outset of his scholar period. However, he received his opportunity to start in October of that season and following outstanding performances in the FA Youth Cup, made the right back position his own by mid-season.
At the beginning of his second scholar season, Bryce had still not received a first professional contract offer, despite being at the club for 6 years. He felt his future was elsewhere and this would ultimately lead to his arrival at Leeds Utd. He enlisted the services of the same management company that look after Tottenham Hotspur’s Victor Wanyama and Borussia Dortmund’s rising US star player, Christian Pulisic among its clients.
After securing his release from Crystal Palace, the plan was to find a club that encouraged a free-flowing style of football, which would bring out the best in Bryce. Europe was felt to be the best fit, but contact was also made with Victor Orta, who was then at Middlesbrough FC. An untimely injury meant that Bryce entered the 2017 pre-season still unsigned, but with strong interest being shown in him by F.C. Twente in Holland. After performing well during a short trial period, this appeared to be his likely destination. However, dialogue was had between Bryce’s representative and Orta, who by now had arrived at Leeds. Bryce came on trial and strong performances against Tadcaster Utd and Scarborough in pre-season friendlies led to him securing an initial 2-year contract agreement. “
I hope that you enjoyed finding out a bit more information about a promising full back who hopefully has a bright future in the game. Also, a big thanks to Roger for taking time out of his busy schedule to share this information about his son.