Fulham academy director Huw Jennings has today been named as one of the winners of the Premier League Eamonn Dolan Award for his outstanding achievements in youth development.

Jennings, who has previously worked at the Oxford United and Southampton academies as well as the Premier League, shares this year’s award with the Brighton and Hove Albion technical director Dan Ashworth. The award is named in honour of the former Reading academy supremo Dolan, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2016.

Jennings has overseen the progression of 44 academy graduates to first-team debuts in more than a decade at Craven Cottage, with talented midfielder Fabio Carvalho the latest to make the step up to senior football in the final weeks of the last season. Fulham’s under 18 side successfully defended their Premier League U18 south title and Jennings’ key role at the helm of one of the country’s leading academies has won him respect and admiration throughout the national game.

He told the Fulham official website:

“It’s fantastic. Eamonn was a terrific ambassador for youth and dedicated his career to the development of young players. To win an award that’s in his name makes me feel very privileged.

You can never replace the enjoyment of seeing a young player progress to the first team for Fulham. We’ve had a number of those during my time here, most recently Fabio Carvalho. It was great to see Fabio start the last three Premier League games, and hopefully he can go on to achieve great things. That’s certainly always a starting point for my personal highlights.

We’re probably witnessing the most successful period of youth development in England, and in my career. Hopefully, that can transfer into international success and lots of club related success with talented young players. I’m really proud to be working with a really strong team of staff who are so hard-working and dedicated to their roles. In terms of on the pitch, we’ve had successes with the Under-18s, who won the Southern Premier League for a second year in a row. There’s also been good progress from a number of individuals right across the programme.

This is a great club to work for and it’s the longest I’ve worked anywhere and I’ve done that for two reasons. One is that I’ve really enjoyed it and the other is that the club has continued to put up with me!”