Jonathan Afolabi targeting progress in Paradise
‘This is a great club, with a great history, and a great place for me to be a part of’
Jonathan Afolabi: “The boys have been very welcoming, the fans have been great as well, and I’m delighted to be part of this family now.”
Jonathan Afolabi has said that Celtic’s record of giving young players the opportunity to prove themselves in the first team was a key factor in him deciding to join the Scottish outfit despite apparently having had offers from Premier League and foreign clubs
The 19 year-old Dubliner, who played for Lourdes Celtic, Shamrock Rovers and St Joseph’s Boys before moving to England in his mid teens, left Southampton at the end of last season but was suddenly in demand after his performances for Ireland at the European Under-19 Championships in Armenia. Having scored three goals in the elite phase of the qualifying rounds, he got one at the finals but turned in a couple of highly impressive performances for Tom Mohann’s side.
He was the only Irish player to make the official Team of the Tournmament.
“Celtic is just a stand-out team for me” he told the club’s official website, “and they have a great reputation of bringing youngsters from the Academy through the ranks. This is a great club, with a great history, and a great place for me to be a part of. I look forward to helping out in the seasons ahead.
“The club has great facilities, and a great winning mentality, which is what I want to be a part of. My goal here is to be part of a winning squad, adopt that winning mentality, and learn from the boys. If I can learn from the senior players, I’ll hopefully have the chance to play in front of these great fans.
“With such a talented pool of players, it’s going to take time and hard work to break in, to prove myself to the manager and the dressing room - but that’s something I would have to do anyway. Hopefully I can get a bit of time on the pitch in the future to showcase what I’ve got.”
The striker signed a three-year deal with the club a few days ago and has been training with his new teammates this week. “It’s been great so far. This is a big move for me and everything has been going well so far. The boys have been very welcoming, the fans have been great as well, and I’m delighted to be part of this family now. I can’t wait to drive forward from here.”