Seyi Kolajo - Advanced Centre

Group photo of Seyi with CACT and CAFC staff members

“Seyi definitely feels part of the Charlton family” – the latest recruit for the Charlton Athletic Academy through CACT pathway

After starting on Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s (CACT) Charlton Challenge programme aged three and a half, Seyi Kolajo has now signed a contract with the Charlton Athletic Academy.

Seyi started out by coming along to weekly sessions at his local leisure centre which provided an excellent foundation for his football skills. He proved to be a very strong player technically and, as a result, he was placed in a more challenging age group.

After playing for a local team, Seyi was scouted at a Charlton Athletic festival and started attending regular Charlton Athletic Pre-Academy’s U7 sessions during the 2019/20 season. 

Unfortunately, Seyi didn’t reach the level required to continue with the Academy into the 2020/21 season as an U8, however, Academy Lead Youth Development Phase Coach (U12-16) David Chatwin recommended Seyi joined CACT’s Advanced Centre, which is Charlton Athletic’s exit route for players who are on the brink of academy football standard. 

The Advanced Centre offers talented players from within their community programmes such as Charlton Challenge and holiday football courses an opportunity to train each week with CACT coaches. The Advanced Centre provides the perfect environment for players to develop their ability while continuing to be monitored by coaches and scouts. 

Advanced Centre coaches saw Seyi progress during his time with them and following an official trial with the Charlton Academy, he received the exciting news that he will be joining the U9s team.

Bradley Marshall, CACT’s Senior Football and Sports Development Officer said: 

‘’Seyi is an excellent example of how the Advanced Centre can support players and develop them into Academy players. 

“Seyi has developed a lot in the two years he has been with us and we are delighted to help him get back into the Academy set-up. It proves attending CACT programmes can result in successes like Seyi.’’ 

Seyi’s mother, Helen Thompson, added:

“We are delighted that Seyi has signed for Charlton as he has been on a real journey. Starting at Charlton Challenge at our local leisure centre just age 3 and a half, he quickly progressed and was put up to a more challenging age group.

“Aged 6 he joined a local team and attended a Charlton festival where he was scouted by Dipo. Seyi attended Charlton’s Pre-Academy for some time, the coaches felt at the time Seyi wasn’t ready for the academy, so he transferred to the advanced centre, this is where he progressed and was closely monitored. As his game and maturity developed, he was then invited back to the Charlton Academy on an official trial. 

“We are thrilled that he is continuing his journey with Charlton. Seyi has built a real relationship with many of the coaches, and I expect he will continue to do so in the Academy.

“As a family we love the club’s ethos and the emphasis on community and developing the boys in all aspects not just football - Seyi definitely feels part of the Charlton family.”

Book your child a place on Easter holiday football courses now to benefit from the CACT pathway into the Charlton Athletic Academy.