Farnborough Town began pre-season training today and the academy welcomed a new face from UK Football Trials.
Afan Gashi, 16, started training with his new club today after a successful trial with us in May, which led to a Farnborough Town scout requesting his details and inviting him in for a second look.
After then impressing again on trial with the academy, the Southern Premier League club elected to offer the young striker a 2-year-deal without any hesitation, which he duly signed.
“It’s going really well at the moment,” said Afan, “I was very happy when the club told me that they wanted to sign me.
“I’ll be mainly playing for the academy but there will be chances to train with the first team too and that will be a great experience for me if that happens.”
He added: “It was great to finally get started today but I was knackered at the end of it, we did running for three hours and didn’t even see a ball but that’s what pre-season is all about.”
Today was the first taste of a semi-pro environment that Afan has ever experienced, and it will be a big step up for the promising forward.
Last season he was playing for his local team Blackhawks FC, although he did boast an impressive record of 24 goals in 17 games.
Afan said: “I’ve never done anything like this before but I’m really enjoying it.
“Everyone has to start somewhere and I’m prepared to put the effort in and work my way up., this is a great opportunity to progress.
“I’ll be training five times a week and playing matches against academies so I just want to keep playing and building on my football – I’m loving it and cant wait to get going.”
Afan will also be studying at the college as part of his deal, where he will be working in different areas around the game including refereeing, coaching and tactics.
Mark Wardley, the Farnborough Town scout who saw Afan at our trial, said: “We’re delighted to be able to add Afan to our academy for the next couple of seasons.
“I could see at the trial he had the prospects of becoming a very good player and he knows where the goal is, so I’m hoping he’ll be a great addition to our football club.”
He added: “We’ve signed a few boys from UK Football Trials over the last couple of seasons and they’re a rally good source of players for us and it’s giving lots of players some great opportunities in the game.”