‘It’s been a rollercoaster of a journey for me’

Folarin Balogun signed his first professional contract with the club on Wednesday, having spent the past seven years developing at our Hale End academy.

The 17-year-old forward is currently our top goalscorer at under-18 level this season, scoring 13 goals in 13 appearances, and now he’s keen to follow in the footsteps of Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and Emile Smith Rowe.

We spoke to Balogun after signing his new deal - and this is what he said.

on signing his first professional contract…

It feels really good. I’ve been at the club since I was young, so I’m just happy that I’ve been given the opportunity to push on.

on being at the club since he was 10 years old…

It’s been a rollercoaster of a journey with a lot of ups and downs, but I’m glad that my hard work has been noticed and it’s starting to pay off.

on his season so far…

It’s been a good season so far and I’m scoring a lot of goals, so I just want to keep scoring and continue helping the team week in, week out.

on seeing Emile, Joe and Eddie in the first team…

It’s really good. You see them every day walking around the academy, so it makes you think if they can do it, why can’t I?

on his goals between now and the end of the season…

Individually my goal is to finish the season as the top goalscorer in the U-18 Premier League.

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