SINGAPORE: Singaporean footballer Benjamin Davis has signed the first professional deal of his career with newly promoted Premier League club Fulham FC.
Davis, 17, joined Fulham on a two-year scholarship deal in July last year.
However, his performances for the Fulham Under-18 side were so impressive that the club decided to hand him a new deal.
He is the first Singaporean to sign a professional contract with a top-tier English club. The contract will run for two years, until June 2020.
In an announcement on the club website on Friday (Jul 13), Fulham said that the midfielder "accrued a pass accuracy of over 90 per cent" for the U-18s.
"I was so happy and then excited. I really didn't expect it as I am still in the first year of my two-year scholarship deal although I did have a good second half of the season," the teenager said of his reaction when he learned that the club was offering him a deal.
"I will enjoy the achievement and success so far, but now it gives me the motivation, drive and desire to push on to achieve the ultimate goal of playing in the Fulham first team in the Premier League."
Davis said his immediate goals are to establish himself as a regular for the U-18 and U-23 team, and push himself to earn a call-up to train with the senior team.
The former Singapore Sports School student is also yearning for his first full international cap, having already earned a call-up to the Singapore national team earlier in the year.
Harvey Davis, his father, said that he is "proud" of his son's achievements.
He told Channel NewsAsia: "It's fantastic news for Singapore football ... It shows that Singapore can produce footballers who can play at the highest level in the UK.
"He did very well in the second half of last season which led to him being called up for the U-23s.
"It's amazing for Ben to achieve a pro contract only after 12 months of his scholarship. I'm happy he has achieved this and potentially go on and play in the Premier League," the senior Davis added.