Accrington Stanley midfielder Emerich Poilly has today signed his first professional contract with the club.
The 17-year-old, who was born in France, played a pivotal role in helping the club reach the fourth round of this season's FA Youth Cup.
Poilly has regularly trained with the Under-23s and came on as a second half substitute in today's 7-0 Central League victory over Walsall.
Manager John Coleman said: "He's done really well for the Youth Team. He's a good prospect and we wanted to show that there is a pathway for the youngsters to come through, so we're delighted he's signed his first professional contract.
"He's still learning the game but he's physically strong enough to compete which is always a good sign and he's willing to learn, and he's a good lad as well."
Academy Manager Duncan Fearnhead added: "We're all really proud of him. Ever since he came in, we had him lined up as one who'd potentially be knocking on the door of the first team sooner rather than later.
"Emerich has taken the opportunity with both hands and he's been consistent on the pitch and off it with everything that he does, he works really hard and he has a fantastic mentality.
"Hopefully this is the first step to securing a regular place within the first team matchday squad."
Emerich said: "I was over the moon when I received the offer. When you've worked so hard for something and find out that you've achieved it, it's a great feeling and I can't wait to get started.
"It's now up to me and I've got to remain focused, and do all I can to make my family and the coaches proud."
The two-and-a-half-year contract is subject to EFL and FA ratification, with Emerich set to wear the number 48 shirt.
Do you want to sponsor Emerich?
Our sponsorship packages are priced at £99 for home or away kit, or we offer a deal of £149 for both.
To find out more information, please contact our Commercial team on 01254 356950 (Option 3) or by emailing email@example.com.