By Omolagba Oluwayemi
Sports Writer, kick442.com-Nigeria
Nigerian eligible David Omilabu signs first professional contract
Crystal Palace Academy forward David Omilabu has signed a professional contract with the club.
Omilabu, aged 18, has been in excellent form so far this season, scoring nine goals from 12 games for the Under-18s and also opened his goal-scoring account for the Under-23s in his second appearance.
The young English striker of Nigerian origin joined Palace’s youth setup aged eight, and this season has been instrumental in guiding the U18s to top spot in the Under-18 Premier League South. His maiden strike for the U23s saw them clinch all three points in a 1-0 victory over Burnley in February.
He joins Fionn Mooney, Jadan Raymond and Tayo Adaramola in committing their futures to the club in recent months.
Speaking with Palace TV after putting pen to paper with the club, Omilabu said: “It’s a good feeling. I’ve been waiting my whole life for it. Since I was eight, my parents have been driving me to training and to matches, so it’s nice to know their hard work has paid off for me as well.
“At the start of the season my target was to score goals and help the team win, and it’s safe to say I’ve been doing that so far.
“[I love] the fans, the atmosphere of Crystal Palace as a south London club. I was born and raised in south London, so to know that the club is local to me feels very good.”
Chairman Steve Parish said: “It’s fantastic to see those who were amongst the first players recruited at age eight or nine when I arrived now graduate to the full professional ranks. David is a player that has stood out on many occasions – not least when we played in overseas tournaments.
“He has fantastic qualities and I sincerely hope that David uses this achievement of signing as a professional to motivate himself even further to make the most of his talents, by keeping his head down and working harder than ever to help accelerate his development at Crystal Palace.”
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