Second-year apprentice Rayan Kolli has signed his first professional contract at Queens Park Rangers, putting pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year deal, keeping him at the club until 2025.
The 17-year-old has been at the club since the age of eight and is now eager to kick on even further.
“This is a very, very happy moment for me,” said the striker. “I have been working for this pretty much my whole life.
“The hard work has always been there and that won’t change because I have been given a pro contract. I have always worked hard, especially on the pitch, but I know there is a lot of work to do and this is just the start of my career.”
Thinking back to the beginning of his journey with the R’s, Kolli said: “I remember being really nervous to be training with an academy for the first time but I was really excited too. I just wanted to enjoy it and that has always been my way.”
Having progressed through almost every age group at QPR, Kolli heaped praise on two influential figures in his career so far – Head of Coaching, Chris Ramsey and Academy Director, Alex Carroll.
“Chris has been there for me ever since he came to the club,” he said. “He has helped me with all sides of the game and outside of football too, he is always there for me. He is like that with all the academy lads so big kudos to him.
“Alex has been around right from the very start and has been a massive help. He has treated me like one of his own and has been a massive part of my development.”
Having reached his initial goal of a pro contract, Kolli is now hungry for more.
“My main target now is to play for the first team,” he said. “That’s been a dream of mine since I joined the club as an eight-year-old and looking up to players like Adel Taarabt, and now Ilias Chair.
“Just thinking about stepping on the pitch at Loftus Road gets me excited.”