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NEWS: “To say I'm a professional footballer for a big club like Coventry, it's an amazing feeling.” - Coventry City’s Bilal Sayoud

24 March 2016

Bilal Sayoud agrees terms with Coventry City after impressing during a trial period...

18-year old Bilal Sayoud has secured his first professional contract as he pens a two-year deal with Coventry City.

The forward was a graduate of the Nike Academy and has stood out during his trial period with City’s U21s setup. Bilal was part of the side that beat Bristol City U21s 4-0 in the week, delivering a bright performance from the bench.

Asked about his feelings toward securing his first professional deal, Sayoud said: “I’m so happy, it is a massive club and I am so happy to be given a contract here and given an opportunity to progress my career. 

“Training has been good, the intensity has been great. To be able to train with the first team, what more could you want to develop as a footballer. 

“At times I thought it was never going to happen, I’ve been close on occasions but never got over the line.”

The Nike Academy has a revolving squad of unsigned under-20 players and is run with the intention of helping young players find a professional club. Sayoud has spent two years under the tuition of the Nike Academy and now feels ready to make the step up to the professional game.  

Talking about the impact of the Academy, Sayoud said: “It is a full-time programme based at St George’s Park and training is daily. We play across U21s side across England and Europe, it is an amazing environment. 

“It’s a crazy journey, I have been all over the world with the Academy - America, Spain, Italy - and played against top calibre teams. 

“To be able to score against Inter Milan was amazing and some of the experiences I will never forget. It will hold a special place in my heart.”

Sayoud added: “The quality of the U21s here has stood out, there are lots of young players pushing for first team football. For me to be training with those type of players will only help me develop. 

“I want to give the gaffer something to think about. For me, I am taking it a step at a time and give myself time to settle in at the club.”  

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