Bristol City's Tammy Abraham has been named the EFL Young Player of the Month for September.On loan at Ashton Gate from Chelsea, the 19-year-old striker has set the Sky Bet Championship alight.
After making his debut on the opening day of the EFL season, he has since gone on to score 11 goals in 16 appearances, making him the division’s second-top goalscorer. He also recently netted twice on his full England Under-21 debut.
Abraham’s goals - he scored five in September - have fired Bristol City to a fantastic start to the season as they currently occupy sixth place in the Sky Bet Championship.
A graduate of the Chelsea Academy, the front man is getting vital experience on loan at the Robins and sees it as a key part of his development.
On winning the EFL Young Player of the Month award, he said: “I’m very pleased. When you have a coach that believes in you and a good crowd supporting you it gives you so much confidence going into games.
“As soon as I came here I was made to feel welcome and I have a really good bond with the lads. I have a love for the game and always want to do my best.”
City manager Lee Johnson was full of praise for Abraham and said the youngster has been a pleasure to work with so far.
“He’s deserved it, he had a fantastic month. He’s a constant threat for the Championship and teams need to take notice of him.
“He’s been there when we’ve needed him, whether it be a tidy little finish or getting across his man for a poacher’s goal. In the month that he’s won the award, he was superb.”
Each season, EFL clubs invest more than £60m on identifying, training and educating the next generation of football talent.
There are 8,500 young players between the ages of eight and 18 registered with EFL clubs, making EFL Youth Development the largest centrally coordinated young player programme in world football. More than 200 players aged 21 or under make their professional debuts for EFL clubs each season.
Speaking about his development, Abraham added the importance of competitive football in the Sky Bet Championship.
“I knew what to expect when I came out on loan," he added.
"The Championship is a hard league and it’s important to have the right mentality. In this league you play against men. You play against players who are stronger than you, faster than you and you have to quickly adapt the way you play.
“Points mean a lot here, if you lose a game it really matters and you have to be able to bounce back after every defeat. That’s the biggest difference. It’s great competition.”
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The promising young striker joins a talented list of footballers such as Dele Alli, Charlie Austin, Wilfried Zaha and Moussa Dembele who have previously won the prestigious EFL Young Player of the Month award.
“It gives me that confidence and belief that I can really do well when you look at the past winners," Abraham exclaimed. "We’ve got off to a really good start here so I just need to keep playing well and scoring goals.”
Commenting on the young striker's achievement, David Wetherall, Director of Youth Development at the EFL, said: “The successful loan period Tammy is experiencing will no doubt be very beneficial to his development.
"Scoring five goals in six games in September is obviously an excellent return and I look forwards to seeing his career develop further in the future.”
Each month the accolade is awarded by the EFL to a young player who has made a significant contribution and impact in first-team football.
EFL Young Player of the Month winners - Season 2016/17
August: Nathan Smith (Port Vale)