A season, or in this case a winter preparation period, gives youngsters the chance to prove what they are capable of and convince the coach that they are ready to make their mark on the challenges ahead on the domestic and European stage. A quintet of youngsters were aiming to seize the chance of just that in Marbella.
We asked five of our youngsters how pleased they were with the training camp in Spain and what goals they have for the rest of the season.
Adam Stejskal | 20 years old, goalkeeper
The fact our UEFA Youth League team managed to make the final last year was thanks in no small part to the goalkeeper. Adam did not miss a single minute of play and was the matchwinner in the penalty shootout against MSK Zilina that secured our spot in the last 16. Thanks to his performances on the training pitch - and Nico Mantl going out on loan – the Czech keeper will be our number two between the sticks for the rest of the campaign. Adam did not concede a single goal during his 105 minutes of action in Marbella.
Samson Baidoo | 18 years old, defender
The boy from Graz came to Salzburg at the age of 14 and settled in right away. Under UEFA Youth League and FC Liefering Coach Fabio Ingolitsch, Sammy has developed into a real leader, and he led his team-mates as captain in the knockout stages of the U19 version of the Champions League. After the central defender made his debut for our Red Bulls in August, he scored his first goal against KSC.
Amankwah Forson | 20 years old, midfield
The creative spark had six goal involvements in the first part of the season under the guidance of Miroslav Klose at Altach, with a pair of assists against our Red Bulls adding to his impressive CV. The Ghanaian has established himself in the Austrian top flight, and the versatile attacker should give our forward play an additional boost – just as he has in recent days at the training camp.
Lawrence Agyekum | 19 years, midfielder
On the subject of Altach - Lawrence made his debut for our side there and has appeared in close to half of the possible playing time since in Austrian football. That is a very credible record for the midfield dynamo, who joined us only a year ago at the West African Football Academy.
Karim Konate | 18 years old, striker
Five goal involvements in three games have seen Karim Konate announce himself in the winter preparation period and make a great statement in support of further inclusion in our team. The Ivorian has already created a stir in #LigaZwa with his scoring record, and he seems to be planning similar heroics for our first team.