Date: 16th February 2013 at 9:20am
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If you want something enough if you work hard enough to achieve it, and do not give up at the first knock back, you can usually get it.

Youssef Bamba certainly proved that this week when his efforts were rewarded with a professional contract with AFC Wimbledon following a successful spell in the youth set up after a successful trial period before this.

However, it could have been so different as the 18-year-old Frenchman was initially turned away by Neal Ardley!

Bamba’s dream of earning a professional contract saw him turn to Wimbledon. He tracked down their training ground and turned up seeking this trial.

At first the newly appointed Dons boss turned him away but he wouldn’t give up, as he explained to Dons Player: ‘After moving back to England to live in Clapham with my mother I went on the AFC Wimbledon website and managed to find out where the training ground was.

‘When I turned up at training it was Neal Ardley’s first day as the new manager. I spoke to him and he said he was not going to be able to give me a trial, but I did not take ‘no’ for an answer. I stuck around and because I was so keen, ‘Coxy’ said it was worth giving me a chance. I did okay and here I am today.’

With the help of youth coach Mark Robinson the forward has developed as a player with his game constantly improving, Dons boss Ardley added: ‘Yussuff came in on my first day and he was looking for a trial. Mark Robinson has done really well with him and gave him a chance.

‘Since then he has got fitter and stronger and I watched him score two goals against Cheltenham Town in the FA Youth Cup. He put on a very good performance that night and Mark has been very impressed by him. He was not on a contract and we just felt it was a no-brainer to sign him up and see how he develops.’

This will act, or should do, as inspiration to other youngsters out there to follow your dream and not give up at the first refusal!

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