Wolves young gun Austin Samuels marks birthday by signing first professional contract
Hot-prospect Austin Samuels has marked his 17th birthday by signing his first professional contract at Wolves.
The highly-rated teenager has put pen to paper on the deal after impressing coaches with his performances for the Academy's Under 18s.
The striker scored on his first senior appearance in pre-season against Peterborough United.
And he has been among the goals for the Academy Under 18s this season including a brace in Saturday’s 5-5 draw at Derby County.
He has now signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the club.
Samuels said: “I am really very happy to sign the contract and it is a proud moment for me and my family.
“It gives me real confidence and shows that the club have faith in me.
“Hopefully I can push on now and continue to make my way through the ranks and make it to the first team at some stage.
“It was a bit of a shock to me to be in the first team squad for that pre-season game.
“I had trained with the team the day before but it was still a surprise to be named in the travelling squad.
“Then I didn’t think I would get on.
“Nuno called me over and said I would be going on within 15 minutes and my heart started racing I got a bit nervous.
“The players on the pitch really helped me and were a good support to me.
“My family were there as well and my celebration when I scored was for them.
“It has been a good start to the season for me with the Under-18s.
“I have been happy with my performances so far and feel I have been getting better as well.
“My personal target would be to try and get more one more first team appearance before the end of the season.
“I need to keep working and keep doing what I am doing and improve my game.”
Wolves Sporting Director Kevin Thelwell and Academy Manager Gareth Prosser have both congratulated Samuels on his first professional contract – but say the hard work starts again straightaway.
“Austin’s first professional contract is fully deserved for the quality and application he has shown during his time with the Academy,” said Thelwell.
“It is also a fitting reward for all those staff both on the football and non football side who have contributed to his development over a number of years.
“We know that there is a pathway in place at the football club for young players to showcase their abilities, and over the last year or so we have seen first team opportunities afforded to players such as Bright Enobakhare, Harry Burgoyne, Connor Ronan, Donovan Wilson and Morgan Gibbs-White.
“Austin has already appeared in a pre-season friendly, and the challenge for him now is to continue with the same level of hard work that he has shown to get him this far, and make sure he takes any opportunity when it comes along, be that in a match situation or on the training pitch.”
“Austin is another of those players who has come through the Academy from a young age, first joining us at the age of seven,” added Prosser.
“It is always a proud moment for everyone involved when an Academy scholar is awarded professional terms, and this is no different.
“On behalf of everyone connected with the Academy, I would like to congratulate Austin on a well-deserved first professional contract, but, as we always say, the real hard work starts now.
“His challenge is continuing to impress for the Academy, continue scoring goals, and then push on to do everything he can to be noticed at first team level and make the most of his undoubted potential.”