Nottingham Forest’s U18 youth team have had a phenomenal season with the side competing in the FA Youth Cup final on Wednesday night, but despite losing the trophy to Manchester United there is a bright future for the individuals in the team.
Steve Cooper has also had a great season with the senior team who will take on the challenge of the Championship playoffs this weekend and if successful, the side could earn themselves a spot in the Premier League next season for the first time in over two decades.
With that being said, it could be a golden opportunity for the youngsters who have been shining in the youth set-up to prove their worth and gain a chance to play in the top flight should the club prevail in their promotion efforts over the next few weeks.
One player who has been a stand-out star for the U18 team is centre-forward Detlef Esapa Osong, who was hailed a “threat” by journalist Andy Kelly for his impressive performances in the academy this season.
The 17-year-old striker has scored 12 goals and contributed two assists in 20 appearances, but his most notable goal contributions have come in the FA Youth Cup with the youngster being absolutely crucial to the team’s advancement in the competition.
Esapa Osong scored twice in the sixth round 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers, scoring another brace and bagging an assist in the 3-1 semi-final victory over Chelsea, proving that his attacking output is effective when it matters and despite his age plays well under pressure, which will surely catch Cooper’s eye.
The centre-forward’s efforts haven’t gone unrecognised as he was offered his first professional contract by the club to secure his future and the young talent was thrilled to sign on with The Reds.
Esapa Osong spoke out on signing the terms (via Nottingham Forest Official):
“I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity.”
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Forest so far and now I’m eager to keep learning and keep improving as much as I can.”
With that being said, the English goal-machine clearly has a bright future ahead of him and could become first team striker Keinan Davis’ heir if he carries on with the impressive performances he has displayed for his team this season, and there will surely be opportunities for him to prove his worth to Cooper in the not so distant future.