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Isaac signs pro deal after bouncing back from injury

Attacking midfielder given chance to prove himself

4 January 2022

Isaac Olaniyan has been offered a chance to be a part of our future after signing his first pro deal at AFC Wimbledon.

The 19-year-old attacking midfielder joined us at the age of just 11 and he made noteable progress through our academy ranks before having an unfortunate time with injuries. Due to that reason his scholarship was extended until a third year.

Mark Robinson said: "Isaac has so much potential, but he has been really unfortunate with injuries. It is so important we give these lads every opportunity we can within our resources to prove themselves. We have rated him highly for a long time and a long-term injury shouldn't influence our decision on giving him more time. I absolutely hope he continues to progress over the coming months, so that we can commit further to his development."

After progressing through our academy Isaac started the Papa John's Trophy match at home to Crystal Palace earlier this season and he said that the pro deal offers him a 'dream' chance to realise his rich potential.

"I’m very happy and proud to have signed my first professional contract with AFC Wimbledon, a club which I have been at since I was 11," said Isaac. "This is something I’ve worked extremely hard for and dreamed about since I started playing as a four-year-old. Although this is only the start, it’s nice to be able to reach this milestone and reward myself and my family for all the sacrifices and hours that have been put into getting me to this point.

"Since I’ve been here the club has developed me, both a player and as a person. I'm looking forward to working hard and earning opportunities to use my talent and ability to help propel the club to success in the near future."

Academy Manager Michael Hamilton said: "Isaac's ability is undoubted, he is very effective between both boxes, has a great work ethic, and a great range of passing. The past 18 months or so have been difficult for him due to a sequence of injuries, hence our decision to extend his scholarship, and to afford him the time to recover properly.

"Over the past few months he has been back out, reconditioning, and increasing his minutes with the Under-18s. Now he is back fully fit. The plan now for the second part of the season will be for him to experience senior football, via a loan, find some rhythm, and find form to enable him to get back to his best. That will enable him to continue his development with us.

"There’s a lot of work that goes unseen in situations like these, so massive credit needs to go to Jenna Richards and Liam Connor for the support they've given off the pitch to support Issac's rehabilitation."

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