ARAMIDE Oteh admitted he was lost for words after making his first appearance for QPR at Loftus Road on New Year’s Day, following hot-on-the-heels of his professional bow at Millwall a few days earlier.
The 19-year-old striker, who left Tottenham Hotspur in February and signed professional terms with Rangers soon after, enjoyed a festive period to remember, featuring for 21 and 13 minutes respectively in the two fixtures, which culminated in a comeback victory against Cardiff City in W12, as the Hoops kick-started 2018 with a bang!
“It's been a few days to remember for me,” Oteh acknowledged to www.qpr.co.uk.
“Making my debut at Millwall was a great feeling, albeit the result didn’t go the way we’d have liked.
“And to then run on to the pitch for my home debut at Loftus Road on New Year’s Day – words can't really describe that feeling. I’m lost for words to be honest.
“But it wasn’t about me, it was about the team and getting the three points, which we felt we deserved on the day.”
Victory against Cardiff was clinched thanks to another Under-23 youngster, Paul Smyth, who Oteh later replaced from the substitutes’ bench.
Oteh – who has notched nine goals in 11 appearances for the 23’s this season – believes his breakthrough, along with Smyth’s, shows anything is possible for his fellow youngsters in the Academy.
“I'm really happy and grateful to have been given this opportunity,” he said.
“The manager has put his faith in me by giving me a chance in the last two games and it's great to know he trusts me.
“It's a great motivation for young players in the Academy to see some of the 23's squad in and around the First Team.”
Oteh’s story is a remarkable one over the last 12 months.
Released by Spurs in February, he signed as a scholar at QPR soon after, before penning a pro deal in May.
Now, 2018 promises so much – and it’s an opportunity he wants to grab with both hands.
“The staff here have always believed in me,” he said.
“It didn't work out for me at Tottenham, but I'm enjoying it here at QPR.
“The likes of Chris Ramsey, Paul Hall and Andy Impey have been brilliant with me.
“The last year has all gone so quickly and to end the year making my debut at Millwall and then starting 2018 with my first appearance at Loftus Road was special.
“Now it’s up to me to keep improving and showing the manager what I’m capable of.”