Walsall winger Tobias Hayles-Docherty has signed his first professional contract with the club.
Hailed as a ‘special talent’ by Saddlers manager, Jon Whitney, last month, Hayles-Docherty had been named in the club’s match-day squad on several occasions before he made his debut as a second-half substitute in the penultimate game of the season.
While the Saddlers slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Port Vale in that encounter, the 18-year-old wide-man caught the eye after his introduction.
With the first hurdles of his fledgling career now negotiated, Hayles-Docherty was quick to credit the guidance he has received from Professional Development Coach John Ward and Academy Manager Graham Biggs.
“I’m really happy,” he said.
“This is something I’ve been working towards for a long time and to be given the opportunity is really good.
“John and Graham have helped me a lot because they’ve allowed me to play with freedom, express myself.
“It gives me confidence going into games because it allows me to do what I do.
“I see myself as a winger – I like to get in the final third and make things happen, get at players and create chances for the team.
“I like to make things happen.”
Whitney expressed his delight at securing Hayles-Docherty signature confirmed that professional deals have also been offered to Cameron Peters (striker), Sam Tonks (defender) and Will Shorrock (midfielder).
“Tobias is one of several young second-year scholars to impress us,” said Whitney.
“He’s a player who catches the eye with natural pace and ability, and he’s also tasted first-team football this year, making his full debut against Port Vale.
“He’s a young player that we have really high hopes for.”