Ambitious striker targets a step up to the EDS in the coming season.
Devante Cole may have only taken an interest in football as a nine year-old but he’s intent on making up for any lost time.
Even a long-term injury lay off suffered last term hasn’t held up the progress of this talented striker with goalscoring in his blood.
City u18s are currently third in the new Barclays u18 Premier League after opening with two wins and a defeat and Cole thinks there’s more to come from him as he finds his way back to full fitness.
“I’m close to a full training program now and it’s all about getting minutes on the pitch now and hopefully scoring more goals,” Cole told mcfc.co.uk.
Cole’s strike rate in 2011/12 was an enviable one goal in every two matches, meaning that for lazy scribes, comparisons with his father and former Blue Andrew Cole were inevitable.
Andy, or Andrew, depending on the commentator, scored nine times for City in a brief but prolific stint at the City of Manchester Stadium and while both he and Devante share the same keen eye for goal and devastating pace over the first ten yards, the paternal influence is far from overbearing.
“He lets me get on with it, obviously he’s there to give me advice if I want it but he’s really keen to just let me do my own thing,” the striker smiles.
“Thierry Henry was actually the player I aspired to be like – as a kid I found him really exciting to watch, he was the kind of player who could pick up the ball, take on defenders and score from anywhere.”
Cole has made nine appearances for England u17s and scored three goals before his injury. It’s a tally he’s looking to add to as the ambitious frontman has targeted a move up the ages for club and country over the coming season.
“Playing for your country is what you aim for as a footballer so it’s been great to pull on the national team shirt and it’s something I’m really proud of,” reveals the 17-year old.
“My target for the next year is to break into the under-21s and become one of the main strikers in that team.”
With a goal under his belt already this season, it'd be foolish to back against him meeting his targets.
For more Academy interviews, pick up a copy of the matchday programmes at home games for features on players, match reports and a column by Mark Allen, the Head of Academy.