By Jake Sanders
ISAAC Oloafe is looking to continue his momentum by earning a spot in Gary Rowett’s first team squad next season following his heroics for Sutton United last term.
The 21-year-old, who’s yet to make a senior appearance for Millwall, scored 14 goals in 37 league appearances, plus two more in the FA Trophy, to help the U’s win the National League title and gain promotion to the EFL for the first time in the club’s history.
Olaofe’s 16 goals not only helped fire Sutton into the big time, but meant he netted more than Millwall’s entire strike force combined. And with Matt Smith’s future still undecided and Kenneth Zohore back at West Brom, there could be a window of opportunity for the youngster to seize next season.
Gary Rowett recently told the News that he will sit down with him to discuss his future having previously hinted that a loan move to the Football League could happen.
But the Lewisham-born forward isn’t focussed on anything other than scoring goals in pre-season in a bid to try and force his way into the first-team reckoning for the upcoming Championship campaign.
“I’ve got a lot of momentum from the current season, so I’m going to go back in pre-season, work hard and try to pick up from where I left and get myself into the squad,” the 21-year-old told the News.
“My focus is on pre-season and seeing how it goes from there. I just must keep my head down, try to improve and keep on working hard to get more goals.
“I would like to say I set my targets high and do feel like I can be an asset and have an impact on the team, but I have got to be patient, wait for the right opportunity, and wait for the manager to say that I can be involved, but I have got good momentum, so I just need to go into pre-season and keep working hard.”
Millwall currently have three Academy graduates in the current set-up, and there are two that have given Olaofe real hope of eventually breaking into the squad.
He said: “The loan move to Sutton helped me develop as a person, so the fact I am still at Millwall just shows the Academy system is working as you can see through Billy Mitchell and Danny Mac, and how they have been pushed through shows there’s a pathway for myself.
“They both deserve their opportunity. The 10 games when I was up in Scotland, Danny Mac was the best player on the pitch in nine of them, and I am so glad he has been able to push himself into the first-team.”