Powerful frontman looks forward to a 'big season' ahead...PROMISING front-man, Amadou Bakayoko has signed a new one-year deal with the club.
The powerful striker arrived at the Banks’s as a 16-year old and has continued his development under the guidance of Academy Manager, Neil Woods and more recently with Professional Development Coach, John Ward.
Now 20, Bakayoko aims to make an impression on the Saddlers senior squad when they link up for pre-season but must first overcome a knee injury he suffered towards the end of the 2015/16 campaign.
“I’m really happy to have signed another year,” he said. “It’s about getting fit through the summer now because next season is a big season for me.
“There are high expectations at this club and I really want to step up and become a big part it.
“There’s lots of young players who have been given a chance here. I‘m in the same age group as Kins [Liam Kinsella] and Rico [Henry] and I think we really push each other on. There’s a good group of us and it’s a good environment for us to work in.”
A prolific goal-scorer at youth level, Bakayoko enjoyed his first loan spell at Southport eighteen months ago where he marked his debut with a goal against Braintree Town.
After returning to his parent club for the following season, the Sierra Leone-born forward gained further experience with AFC Telford United before joining Vanarama National League Northern outfit Worcester City in January.
His 3 goals and 2 assists in 9 appearances for Worcester helped the club to secure a 14th place finish in a season which also saw Jordan Murphy make the temporary move to City.
“It was weird going out on loan to start with but you get used to it and Worcester gave me a different chance to what I was getting at the time,” he added. “I could go and play games there and ultimately score goals which is what I love doing.
“I’m really looking forward now though and I’m going to give it one-hundred percent. I’m ready to prove myself and really kick on.
“Whits [Jon Whitney] has been a big help and you know, as a player, that you have to work hard.
“I’m not far from returning fitness wise but I’ll be coming in to do some work through the summer as well.
“It’s my first proper injury and it’s prepared me for how to deal with it both physically and mentally so I believe I’ll be stronger for it in the long term.”