Alfie Egan and Toyosi Olusanya sign on the dotted line
We are delighted to announce great news ahead of Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup tie with Alfie Egan and Toyosi Olusanya both signing professional contracts.
Both players have been rewarded for influential performances during AFC Wimbledon’s run to the last-16 and first-team manager Neal Ardley was at the club today to congratulate the pair.
It caps a remarkable rise for Toyosi, who was discovered playing at Tooting-based 10 Coaching and had never previously been involved with academy football. Alfie too has also enjoyed a big breakthrough in the last year, culminating in his memorable goals for the Under-18s in the win at Newcastle United.
Academy Manager Jeremy Sauer said: “Both boys deserve this for all their hard work after having fantastic seasons. We are very proud of them and it creates a good vibe for the academy ahead of Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup tie against Chelsea.
“Alfie and Toyosi have different stories. Alfie has come through our system a bit more because he’s been here since he was 14, but Toyosi has only been here a year after previously not playing academy football. It’s absolutely extraordinary these days for a player not to have played academy football until U-18s and then sign a professional contract.
“In terms of our recruitment it’s a good example to set. Players are out there applying for trials and trying to get into a professional set-up and now they have something to aim towards. We’ve heard stories higher up about Jamie Vardy and how he came from non league. This is a similar comparison because it’s rare for an 18-year-old to get a professional contract after not playing academy football.”
Speaking after signing his pro deal, Toyosi said: “I am so happy because I never expected this to happen so soon for me. After I first joined in the summer it was a difficult first few months for me because I was on the bench a lot, but Mark Robinson had a good talk with me and said that if I listened to him I could get a professional contract at the end of the year. I was playing at 10 Coaching and ‘Robbo’ came along to watch Emmanuel Mensah. I was probably doing too much dribbling and not using the ball enough, but he must have saw something in me!”
A delighted Alfie Egan, who has been AFC Wimbledon’s goalscoring hero in the FA Youth Cup run, said: “This means everything and it’s everything I’ve strived for since I started playing football at the age of six. All the hard work and training sessions have led to signing a contract at AFC Wimbledon and it’s massive for me.
“I’ve been here since Under-14s and back then it was just training twice a week and playing games on a Saturday, but as soon as I signed my scholarship the club has meant so much to me. Now training every day with the U-18s, Under-21s and the first-team, everything is so close-knit and the manager is always around talking to us. Everyone knows what each other is doing and we are all striving for success.”
Full interviews with Alfie Egan, Toyosi Olusanya and Jeremy Sauer will be on Dons Player a bit later on.
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