By Full Contact News and Views
Full Contact client Bilal Sayoud has today signed for League One club Coventry City, putting pen to paper on a two year deal.
18 year old Bilal, in signing his first professional contract (or indeed any contract with a professional club) completes a remarkable journey. Born in London of Algerian and German parentage, Bilal spent his youth years playing amateur and school football in and around London before winning the opportunity to enter the full-time Nike Academy.
It was during a game between the Nike Academy and Burnley U21, attended by Full Contact’s Lee Payne, that Bilal (and team-mate Taofiq Olomowewe, who has since signed for Burnley) caught the eye of Full Contact’s Head of Football and talent-spotter extraordinaire. As Lee explained “Bilal just immediately stood out for me with his super left-foot, technique, balance but also his work-rate and energy. So many wide players are only effective going forwards but he has defensive qualities too and I was really surprised to discover that he had been at the Nike Academy for so long – and even more so that he not ever been schooled at a professional club. The untapped potential is therefore huge and we quickly identified that Coventry might be a perfect club for Bilal. Tony Mowbray and his staff have a track record of backing young players and identifying and investing in raw potential so we were confident they would like Bilal, as has proven to be the case. This is the start of an exciting journey for Bilal who really has earned this chance.”
Dan Chapman, senior partner of Full Contact, added “As with Taofiq, credit must go to the Nike Academy for spotting, investing in and improving Bilal during his long period with them but we are obviously delighted that Coventry City share our belief in his potential and that he has now been able to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional footballer. It is yet another example to young players that the dream should never die, but also a reminder to football clubs and their recruitment departments that there are excellent players out there if they are prepared to look in different places. Whether it be non-league, the Nike Academy or many of the similar set-ups around the country, so many clubs – particularly lower down the Football Leagues – are not identifying or taking a risk on young, raw talent and choosing to sign more expensive, lesser talented but supposedly ‘proven’ players. I also need to thank our Reice Charles-Cook, Coventry’s no.1 keeper, for his hospitality in allowing Bilal to live with him during his trial with the Sky Blues!”
All at Full Contact congratulate Bilal on his achievement and wish him all the best as he begins his Coventry City career.
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Full Contact News and Views includes articles contributed by Associates and professional contacts within the Full Contact team and includes opinion on sports law, PR and media, football agency and more.
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