The future is bright here at the Banks’s Stadium if the talent among our youth ranks is anything to go by, believes striker Amadou Bakayoko.
The 21-year-old forward is coming off the back of his breakthrough season in the Saddlers first team, in which Bakayoko netted 10 goals for the senior side including a Checkatrade Trophy hat-trick against Grimsby Town in the early stages of the campaign.
Bakayoko is one of several academy products to have featured for the first team this season, from the likes of Kieron Morris and Matt Preston to Kory Roberts, Liam Kinsella and Maz Kouhyar.
Bakayoko started and scored in the Walsall Senior Cup final last month, netting our third goal as we beat Stafford Rangers 3-1 to lift the trophy at the Banks’s.
Despite his relatively tender age, Bakayoko - speaking to Saddlers TV - felt like the most senior player in that sidemand was delighted to see several of the club’s promising youngsters take his advice in the changing room on board.
“We had the likes of, Jordon Sangha, Kory Roberts Milan Butterfield and Maz Kouhyar as well,” Bakayoko said.
“While we were in the changing room in the Walsall Senior Cup final, I was talking to everyone and I felt like the most experienced one there.
“I think they listen to me but it was really interesting to see what they took in from what I told them.
“They took my advice on board.”
And Bakayoko believes several members of that squad, from first-year scholars to players signing professional deals, can play a big part in the future of the club.
“Their winning that trophy is amazing,” said Bakayoko. “There are some unbelievable players coming through and I think they’ll be amazing for this club.”