Notts County's Kieron Freeman has been named the February Young Player of the Month for the npower Football League.
On-loan at Meadow Lane from neighbours Nottingham Forest, Freeman featured in four of County's five fixtures last month, only missing out on an away trip to Rochdale due to international call-up. Impressive performances for the Magpies in February not only helped push the club to the fringes of the npower League 1 Play-Off Places, but also earned him the man of the match award against Exeter City, Hartlepool United and Stevenage.
The U19 Welsh international rose through the ranks at Forest before making his first team debut as a substitute in a Carling Cup tie against Wycombe Wanderers last August. Before crossing the Trent, Freeman enjoyed a two-month loan at Conference side Mansfield Town where he made nine appearances for the Stags.
A versatile performer who can player across the backline or in midfield, the 19-year-old has had his loan spell at the Magpies extended until the end of the 2011/12 season.
In receiving the award, Kieron said: "My dad is going to put this Award straight into the trophy cabinet. It's a great pleasure to receive it but my form is more down to the team and the way that we are playing.
"I'm only 19 and the older lads really do help me in games - they talk to me and look after me.
"It would be a dream to add a Play-Off Winners' medal to the cabinet but at the minute, we have to take it one game at a time and hopefully we can keep winning games and getting the right results."
County manager Keith Curle added: "This Award is very much deserved, Kieron has impressed well, he's level headed with good ability. Everyday coaching session and match he is playing, he is developing as a player.
"If he keeps progressing the way that he is progressing, I think Kieron will play Premier League football. He has got all of the attributes that are needed; he has a calmness about him, he has the willingness to get forward and the quality."
Each season, Football League clubs invest more than £40m on identifying, training and educating the next generation of football talent. Around a third of this money (£12.6m) is provided by the Football Association and Premier League. There are 8,500 young players registered with League clubs making Football League Youth Development the largest centrally co-ordinated young player programme in world football.
Head of Youth Development at The Football League, David Wetherall said: "Kieron is taking full advantage of first team opportunities at Notts County and last month put in a number of very accomplished performances.
"He is another fantastic example of the quality of player being developed at clubs within The Football League. I look forward to following his development and wish him the best of luck with the rest of his career".
Each month, the Young Player of the Month Award is awarded by The Football League to the young player who has made the most significant contribution and impact in first team football. To be eligible the player must be either under 21 years of age or be playing in the season during which he turns 21.
During the 2010/11 season, 249 players aged 21 or under made their professional debuts in The Football League.
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