Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray says he is delighted with the progress of teen striker Zayn Hakeem.
Hakeem signed his first pro deal with the club until the end of the 2018/19 season after impressing in the Stags’ youth team.
The Antigua and Barbuda U20 international was a stand-out performer during last season’s Football League Youth Alliance title-winning campaign and made his senior debut last season against Cambridge United.
Murray said: “We have been very pleased with Zayn’s progress this season. He is another one of our young players who we are trying to get into the first team environment on a consistent basis.
“Zayn’s progress is as a result of a lot of people’s hard work [into him] as well as the hard work from Zayn himself.
“It is another great example of the continuing growth of our football club and its continuously progressive infrastructure,” he added.
Zayn Hakeem targets first team breakthrough after signing first Mansfield Town pro deal
Club director Steve Hymas said it was important that the youngster enjoyed a steady progression and continues his education process in the club’s academy.
“Zayn will remain in and around the youth team for the rest of the season to finish his development and his education, unless of course he is required by the first team,” he said.
“Next season he will be part of the first team unit and the first team coaches can develop him further until he can have an effect on first team games, if selected.
“We don’t want to rush things with the lad as we currently have four good strikers at the club so we must be patient and his time will come.”
“This contract comes on the back of Zayn’s recent international call-up for the Antigua and Barbuda Under 20s from which we have heard great reports.
“This shows maturity in the player and we want to reward him for his efforts and achievements.”