Boreham Wood are delighted to confirm that academy second year Iliman Ndiaye has been awarded a first team contract.
The young midfielder is the latest player of the PASE conveyor belt, joining the likes of Bradley Sach, Frank Keita, Sauba Thomas and Quba Gordon in the Wood first team picture.
Born in Rouen, France, Ndiaye has recently returned from the first round of the England Colleges trials and is hopefully of progressing further.
A small and skilful central midfielder, Ndiaye was part of the Elite squad last year who reached two National League Cup finals and the Second Round of the FA Youth Cup.
The 18-year-old couldn’t keep the smile off his face, and explained: “I am very happy, and it is a great beginning to get a contract with the club, I just want to keep on working hard and make sure that I go further.
“First team manager Luke Garrard told me the news; I felt that I had done well, but that just gave me a huge boost. I have had to work really hard and train really hard every day.
“I have trained with the first team before as well. I found that hard haha, it is a really fast tempo, but good fun. They are all so big and strong, I know that I have got to work hard to improve.
“I have been here two years now, I came in last year, two months after pre-season and worked my way into the elites, where we achieved great success.”
Short in stature, the 18-year-old spoke of how he can improve: “Firstly, I need to go to the gym haha. I will work hard every single day to keep improving in training.
“I will be training with the first team full-time now and I will continue to eat right, sleep right and think right.
“My next aim is to make my Boreham Wood debut and then I will just see where it takes me.”
Head PASE Coach Cameron Mawer has overseen Ndiaye’s development throughout his time at the club, and ran out of superlatives for the academy’s latest success story.
Mawer reflected: “He has been phenomenal this year, I have got to be honest with you. He joined us quite late last year, after pre-season, but slowly progressed in the first three or four weeks and we identified him as one of the ones to watch.
“He stepped into the Under 18s and scored on both his debut and his second appearance and from then on he has just grown. He has grown as a person and as a player and he is a pleasure to be around.
“He is yet another success story to have come through PASE and that is all down to his hard work. He is infectious, he loves football and he will join in any sessions that he can.
“He was coaching the little-uns in the Soccer Schools as well; we almost have to reign him back a bit, because he just wants to be out there all the time.”
The French-born midfielder is yet another advocate of what can be achieved through the PASE academy, and Mawer talked through what is next.
The coach continued: “He has earnt this through his hard work and having the right attitude, discipline and desire, without a doubt.
“He will now be training with the first team full time, and he will improve so much from that and we will see a different side to his game.
“Technically he is lovely, he has got that going for him already, but with the first team training will come the more tactical and physical side to his game. It is a different kind of tempo and a different world in the first team, but we are excited to see where it takes him.”