ALEX BYRNE is the latest graduate from the Exeter City Advanced Development Centre in Barnstaple.
The 16-year-old has received a YTS contract at Exeter and will play for their under-18s and reserves as well as attending Exeter College.
After training in Barnstaple under the guidance of coach Dave Langford, he joined the Exeter Centre of Excellence at under-12 level.
Alex is now coached by Chris Morris, the former Celtic player who represented the Republic of Ireland at the 1990 World Cup.
Langford said: "Alex has a great attitude to coaching and a real appetite for success and has every chance of being the next North Devon professional footballer."
Previously, the centre at the Park Community School has helped Stephen Reed, Gary Sawyer and George Friend into the professional ranks.
Rudi Small, Sam Phillips, Archie Reay, Joel Randall and Jack Magarotto are in the youth ranks at Exeter, having progressed from Barnstaple.
Among the current Barnstaple crop attending or waiting for trials at Exeter are Max Pipe, Charlie Jaques, Josh Parry, Sam Prentice, Ryan Mugford, Adam Jerrett, Oliver Cheek, Bradley Bartlett, Ethan Smith, Ben Thomas, Kristian Drew, Callum Davey, Nathan Ware and Leo Werner.
Three boys from the newly-established Exeter centre at Bideford – Lewis Cornish, Jack Seedhouse and Niall Weight-Short – are also on that list.
Four under-17s from the Exeter City Academy at Bideford College have been invited to train at Exeter over the school holidays. They are Liam Gregory, Alan Woodcock, Billy Rhoads and Josh Johnston.
The Exeter City Development Centres in North Devon would like to hear from young footballers who are keen to learn. E-mail Dave Langford at email@example.com or call 07877 730986.