Sixteen-year-old Barnsley apprentice Fabio Jalo has penned his first professional contract after netting 27 goals in all competitions at youth level last term.
Jalo’s goalscoring exploits saw him earn the club’s 2021/22 Academy Player of the Season award, while he scored the winner in a recent pre-season friendly against Guiseley.
“I’m happy,” Jalo told the club website. “It’s a great opportunity and I just have to enjoy it. Being named Academy Player of the Season was a big step for me, due to my work, and I just want to achieve more goals and more trophies this season.”
Academy Manager, Bobby Hassell said: “There’s obviously been a lot of interest from bigger clubs; I’ve had to do a lot of travelling to see his family in Leeds and they know that this is the right club for his pathway in terms of getting into a first team.
“It’s very hard to predict talent and where they’re going to go – I don’t want to overhype him because he’s a 16-year-old, at the end of the day. Loss of form and coming into full-time training can affect them differently, injuries, etc, can hinder development.
“He’s got the right attitude, and that’s the key. It’s not so much the talent that lets them down; it’s that ability, consistency and hunger. He’s got hunger in abundance, he’s a fighter as well and he’s got a carefree attitude.”
Chief Executive Officer Khaled El-Ahmad added: “It’s always pleasing to see a player progress through the academy, and this is a testament to the good work the academy staff does on a daily basis. We are eager to see him continue his development here at Oakwell and are hopeful of a bright future.”