James Dornelly

To celebrate the EFL's Youth Development Week, we have been speaking to players and staff about the role of the Posh Academy. 

Defender James Dornelly has progressed through every age group within the Peterborough United Academy, but he is not alone. 

There are many that have trodden that journey including Harrison Burrows and Ricky-Jade Jones, who are now regulars in the first team XI. 

Dornelly, who is nearing fitness after a frustrating spell on the sidelines with injury, joined Posh at the start of the Academy journey and believes that the infrastructure currently in place can be an inspiring place to progress. 

"It has changed quite a bit during my time at the club, but that is brilliant because the youngsters that are joining at the start of the journey can really benefit. I have loved my time in the Academy. The coaches and the support network have really helped me develop and improve, both on and off the pitch, and my focus now is to get fit and push for a place in the first team squad in the future.

"I try and help those that are in the squads below me as much as I can. I talk to Benjamin Marcano-Williams, who is playing up in the under 18s, a lot and if I can help others, I will. 

"I wouldn't say I see myself as a role model or anything, because i haven't achieved anything, but I would like to think if younger members in the Academy want help or advice, I would be able to give it. 

"If I could give some advice to those starting out at under 9s next season, I would say 'enjoy it, work hard and try and be the best you can be'. 

You can watch the full interview with James on Posh+.