Tooting and Mitcham United’s bold move to back their next generation of stars is already paying off for three youngsters looking forward to life in the Championship next season.
Proud coaching staff and management are vowing to keep their production line of Terrors talent rolling after attacking midfielder Abraham Odoh, 18, secured a summer switch to Charlton Athletic and winger Isaiah Jones, 19, and right-wing back Samuel Folarin, 18, headed north to Middlesbrough.
The teenagers sealed dream moves to the professional game from Imperial Fields three years after first team coaches at the Terrors decided to actively start building on the success of south London club’s U18s and U23s set-ups to boost the ranks of their Bostik League squad on match days. After the trio also helped to secure a sixth place finish to the 2018-19 campaign in the Isthmian’s South Central Division, the Terrors hailed the news as the best possible endorsement of a brave policy to focus on the coaching and development of talented youngsters with the help of senior players.
Chairman Steve Adkins said: “We believe that the progress of these players, coupled with the overall success of the development squads last season as Isthmian Development League South champions and the Isthmian Development League’s champion of champions fully endorses our policy of focussing on the coaching and development of young talent and we will continue on this pathway to help others reach their full potential.
“We saw the lack of opportunity talented young players were being given, with naturally gifted ones being overlooked and we wanted to change that and create opportunities. Within three years we’ve done that, and we must recognise the huge contribution of senior coaching staff Ashley Bosah, Cornelius Nwadialor and Jordan Wilson, acknowledging their support for the new strategy as well as our senior players for mentoring and helping them to integrate into senior football.”
He added: “We’re extremely proud of the lads’ achievements, wish them every success next season and we’re also grateful to Middlesbrough and Charlton for recognising and supporting the programme and giving these very talented players their chance.”