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10 May 2023



10 May 2023

Heading into our U18s’ Professional Development League play-off semi-final encounter against Millwall, Emmaisa Nzondo says belief is sky high within the squad.

The young Reds won their respective division at a canter playing a vibrant, attacking brand of football that swept their counterparts aside over the course of a magnificent campaign.

Victory at Cardiff City back in April secured the league title for Nicky Eaden’s side, who knew that three points in the Welsh capital would be enough following Sheffield United’s defeat against Swansea City earlier that day.

“I was just astonished,” exclaimed Nzondo. “In my first season, knowing that we’d won the league, it was just something incredible. 

“Hearing before the game that Sheffield United had lost their game, it was an incentive to go out there and win knowing that we could secure the title if we won against Cardiff.”

It has been a very productive term for our striker, who has found the net 10 times at U18s level, while also notching a goal for Tom Harban’s U21s side.

All of this has been achieved despite missing parts of the campaign due to injury, which – if anything – only served as further motivation for the 17-year-old.

“Obviously, this season hasn’t been the season that I wanted in terms of injuries – I’ve been out for around four months with little knocks here and there – but, apart from that, I’m delighted with what I’ve done as a first year,” he continued.

“I’ve got a goal for the under 21s and helped out by getting goals and assists for the under 18s as well, so it’s been a good season on my behalf and also for the team.

“I just wanted to do the best that I could do. When I came here, my thoughts were to do the best that I can; I got released by Leeds, so I wanted to prove to myself that I could be the player that I know I can be and show what I’m capable of doing on the football pitch.”

Nzondo is one of four U18s to reach double figures this term, with Josiah Dyer (16), Theo Chapman (12) and Rafael Monteiro (11) also finding the Midas touch in front of goal.

The attacking prowess within this talented group is clear to see, and players in all positions are capable of chipping in at any given time.

“We’ve just got a squad of goal scorers, to be fair,” asserted Nzondo. “You can tell by the tally of goals we’ve got this season, it’s not just us strikers – midfielder and defenders are contributing to goals.

“With the threat we have all over the pitch, I just feel that we can get as many goals as we want if we really put effort into what we need to do.”

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