Orient striker Sam Dalby feels his first professional contract has given him a platform to build on.
The first-year scholar signed a three-year professional contract with the O’s last week and the 17-year-old cannot believe how quickly it has all come about.
“It is great to have my first professional contract and it is a dream come true,” he told leytonorient.com
“I joined at the start of the under-16 season and I hadn’t been in an academy before so it has all come about so quickly. Pre-season was tough but I have developed as the season has gone on.
Dalby became the sixth youngest Leyton Orient first team player when coming off the bench in the 3-0 Checkatrade Trophy win against Stevenage earlier in the season.
Since then he has also been included in a number of other first-team squads and he feels getting this experience at such a young age is extremely beneficial.
“It came around quicker than I thought it would and it was unexpected but it was great to make my debut at such a young age,” he added. “It has given me a platform to build on and hopefully it can be the start of something special.
“It has been great to be with the first-team squad for some of the matches. In the youth team games I have scored goals as well.
“I have just been trying to do as best as I can and hopefully over the course of the season I can improve even more, score more goals and get some more minutes under my belt with the first team.”
Dalby is part of the successful under-18 side which has remained undefeated all season going into tomorrow’s FA Youth Cup Third Round game at Leicester City, and he hopes to help the team cause an upset.
“All of the team have been trying their best all season long and for so many to get contracts is fantastic.
“What we have achieved so far has been amazing. We are such a good group, we all work together as a unit both defensively and in attack.
“All the lads are excited for tomorrow night and hopefully we can produce a good performance on the day and get through to the next round.”