Accrington Stanley academy graduate Leslie Adekoya has been rewarded for his impressive form at youth level with a two-year professional contract.
The 18-year-old striker netted 20 times in 28 outings last season and was influential in helping Stanley reach the fourth round of the 2021/22 FA Youth Cup.
Adekoya progressed into the Under-23 side in January and was also named on the first-team bench away at Sheffield Wednesday three months later.
The exciting youngster told the club website: “This is the moment I’ve been working towards. I’d like to thank my family for helping through the rough and hard times.
“Even though I’ve signed, this is just the start. I’ve got to look forward and try to get into the first team. I know what I need to do, I’m confident in myself and the hard work begins now.
“It’s been good training with the first team, they’re a great bunch of guys and I can learn a lot of things from them.”
Academy Manager Duncan Fearnhead said: “Leslie had a difficult start to his scholarship after a broken leg at the start of his first year held him back, but he’s come back from that really well and looks better than he did before.
“His all-round play has really improved and he finds himself in great positions between the posts, which is where goalscorers can earn their money.
“With other players moving on during the transfer window, we all hope Leslie can take the opportunity in front of him and continue his goalscoring exploits at the Wham Stadium.”
Manager John Coleman added: “Leslie has impressed in the youth team and scored a lot of goals. He can now make the next step up and integrate goals with link up play. He will benefit from exposure into the first team, it should do him the world of good, and kick start his career.”