Crystal Palace’s 18 year-old striker David Omilabu has revealed how a hat-trick against his current team earned him a reprieve from the axe.
He recalled to the match programme: “I signed [for Palace] when I was eight-years-old and then I got released when playing for the Under-12s,” he says, discussing the unique way his talent ended up unearthed, and revealing how he bounced back from being released through hard work.
“A year later I went on trial at Fulham. We played Crystal Palace and I scored a hat-trick against them. Then my old coach said he wanted me back, so the following week I went back to Palace and got signed there.”
He also revealed: “A lot of people don’t know this but at academies there is a lot of tactical work, more than you think.”
He recalls one instance in particular: “The opposition centre-back was weak in possession, so our coach told us to press him: ‘When we are pressing, make sure you press him hard,’ and then we got the ball back and we scored from it.”