A JERSEY Bulls teenager is set to sign for Championship side Swansea City.
Sammy Henia-Kamau’s rise through the ranks of Jersey football has been well documented locally, with the versatile forward impressing in a breakout season with the Bulls.
And his talents have not gone unnoticed in the UK, with the Welsh club, which finished three points off the promotion play-off places this year, offering him a two-year deal.
The 17-year-old said: ‘I’m honestly delighted to be given this opportunity.
‘I want to thank all the people within the teams I have played for. All of my teammates – they’ve all contributed to this opportunity, which I am delighted to have and I am really looking forward to.
‘A lot of thanks have to also go to the coaches at the JFA Performance Centre, which I had seven great years playing in. Playing alongside the best players in the Island has enabled me to get to the level that I am now.
‘I also want to thank Paul Renton and all the staff at the Performance Centre for their support and encouragement over the years.’
While the contract is yet to arrive in Jersey, it is understood that Henia-Kamau will enter Swansea’s academy initially as a second-year scholar, with the second year as a full professional.
There is also the opportunity to extend the contract into a third year at expiry.
Henia-Kamau becomes the latest in a string of Jersey players – notably Luke Harris (Fulham) and Marlon Fossey, now of Standard Liège – to sign for professional sides.
Caesareans Callum Osmand and Luca Picotto are also currently crafting their trade at Fulham FC’s academy, while keeper Pierce Roche recently trained with League Two side Tranmere and Miguel Carvalho had trials at Sheffield Wednesday earlier this season.
Henia-Kamau, the 2022 Sid Guy awardee, a prize given for most outstanding player at the JFA Centre of Excellence, was involved in Muratti wins at U16, U18 and U21 levels that year and has since enjoyed a run of first-team football with the Jersey Bulls, as well as playing a key role in St Peter U18s John Tregear Memorial Trophy success.
He has also excelled for the Bulls at U18 and U23 level.
The forward was handed a trial with Fulham FC after long-serving scout Malcolm Elias, who has built strong relationship with the JFA, brought Henia-Kamau over for a trial at the West-London outfit.
While performing well, no formal offer was made by the Premiership club, given the strength in depth at his position.
Instead, Elias contacted Swansea City, who were impressed enough to offer a contract to the Islander.
The Jersey FA has regularly spoken of the importance in providing local players with a pathway into the professional ranks, and Henia-Kamau’s offer from Swansea City shows that the Jersey production line is thriving.