Deji Elerewe says signing a new contract with Charlton Athletic is “surreal” – and labelled Addicks captain Jason Pearce as a “great coach”.
The Croydon-raised centre-back, 18, has signed a three-year deal with the Addicks after impressing early on into the League One season.
Asked about Jason Pearce, the 18-year-old told the club’s official website: “He’s a great role model for me, always willing to help – great coach, great person. I really appreciate him and the rest of the boys as well, anytime I need them they are always here to help me improve.
“It feels great, honestly, I love being at Charlton every minute of the day. Charlton is a great club and I love to spend my time here.
“I’m very pleased, it’s been surreal, I said it before, I didn’t expect myself to be here. I thought maybe I’d be in and around the U23’s and the first-team, but now being here is very very surreal.
“When I first came in I was a bit nervous, but now I feel at home with them, they’re all great lads.
“Just trying to keep getting back into the team [is my goal], keep playing in the league, get more appearances under my belt and who knows what’s next.
“I see the likes of Ezri Konsa, Joe Gomez, even back then with Jonjo Shelvey, they’ve trusted the club to show them the way and now the club has given them the opportunity to play at a higher level, so I hope they can do it for me as well.
“I’m very proud because my family have been there for me since the beginning of my football career so it’s nice for them to be here with me when I’ve made my first professional debut.
“It shows that all my hard work and their hard work, and my brother as well, who wasn’t here today. All his hard work has now caused this to happen for me.
“There are a lot of important members of staff who have made me who I am today, people like Anthony Hayes, Steve Avory, Hamza Serrar, even Jason Euell and Johnnie Jackson the gaffer.
“Steve Avory has made me realise, this U17-18’s period he has given me the confidence to show my ability and even Ant [Hayes] as well giving me these extra training sessions when I needed them, going through my clips, he’s really helped me become the player I am today.”
PICTURE: PAUL EDWARDS
Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:
“A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or, please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ