Parker completes dream move from Stratford Town to Walsall
STRATFORD Town Youth's exciting striker Dylan Parker has secured a dream move to EFL League One club Walsall, writes Bryan Hale.
After a successful trial period, which included coming off the bench to score twice in their under-18 side's 3-1 win over Bury, Parker has signed a six-month contract with the Saddlers.
The deal will allow him to complete his current course at Warwickshire College, while also continuing his football development at the Bescot Stadium.
It’s a dream come true for Parker, who started his time at Town by joining the Grasshoppers section as a five-year-old when Town were still based at their previous Masons Road home.
From then on, he progressed through the various age group teams always scoring plenty of goals, making his debut at youth team level under Clive Seeley's management during the 2015/16 season when the news of his ability in front of goal began to spread.
Off the mark with two in last season’s opening MFYL Premier Division South game, he went on to total 26 in all competitions, and he has maintained that free-scoring form into the current campaign with 13 in just six Town Youth games plus another 12 when turning out for FC Stratford in the Midland League.
Hitting seven in the first half against Redditch United was headline grabbing in itself, but arguably his best performance was against Leamington in the FA Youth Cup when his hat-trick propelled Town to a 3-2 win with his speed, strength and incisive finishing proving to be the difference between two otherwise evenly-matched teams.
“I’m really chuffed for the lad,” said Town Youth coach Nick Ballinger.
“He was brilliant for us at youth team level and I always thought that he would be even better this time round.
"He has learnt a lot during his time with the youth team and I’m sure that he will improve even further at Walsall.
"It’s a great opportunity for him and we will all follow his progress with interest.”