Young striker seeks to build on pivotal few days
George Oakley capped a memorable three days in his career by scoring another goal against Milton Keynes last night, but the 18-year-old believes his best is still to come.
Oakley, who made his first-team debut as a late substitute at Northampton on Saturday, says he’s still a little way short of full match fitness after playing for 80 minutes in last night’s Final Third Development Cup tie.
Speaking to Dons Player, Oakley (pictured above) said: “I still feel I need to gain an extra 10 per cent in terms of my match fitness. I was out for two months with a hamstring injury and that’s quite a long time. It’s great to be back playing though and getting minutes on the pitch.
“I signed my first professional contract earlier this year and I just want to push on now. Scoring goals is what I’m here to do and I want to continue knocking on the door. The manager was here tonight and hopefully he will give me more opportunities to show what I can do at first-team level.”
Oakley’s rise through the academy ranks was particularly impressive last season as he scored over 20 goals, including all five in a win for the Under-18s at Milton Keynes. Making his first-team debut was the realisation of a long-held ambition for Oakley, who joined the Dons at the age of 12.
“I’ve dreamed of playing for the first-team at this club since I first joined,” added Oakley. “It meant the world to me, even though it was only for a short time. It was amazing to be involved. Playing for the development team in a competitive league helps push you on. Everyone was buzzing after the win.”
Senior Professional Development Coach Alan Reeves believes that Oakley can start staking a claim for the first-team if he continues to progress with his fitness.
“George missed pre-season and that was only his third game since he came back,” added Reeves. “He felt his hamstring a little bit so I brought him off near the end. But for an 18-year-old George is a big, strong, powerful lad and if we can get him match-fit then he will have a chance of being in and around the first-team.”
The full video interviews with George Oakley and Alan Reeves appeared on Dons Player this morning.