Mousehole’s central defender Adel Gafaiti has been signed on a full-time professional contract by League Two club Yeovil Town. Gafaiti, capped at Under-20 level by Algeria, spent four years at Norwich City before joining Glasgow Rangers, then went abroad to play in the Premier Division in Ukraine, before moving to west Cornwall earlier this season with the aim of re-launching his professional career in England.
Gafaiti’s decision to join Endorsed Academy and its partner club Mousehole AFC was based on the offer of daily top-class coaching and a growing network of contacts with pro clubs. And it has worked out well, all round. His consistently strong and elegant performances at Mousehole soon brought the inevitable interest from higher-league clubs, and at the same time the move illustrates how Mousehole AFC and Endorsed Academy can nurture and develop talent and provide the springboard for progression.
The French-born 24-year old spent a week at Yeovil, training with The Glovers’ first team squad and impressing throughout . After his international clearance came through he went straight into Yeovil’s League Two starting line-up at Macclesfield last Saturday and earned positive reviews despite his team’s defeat.
With Yeovil Town’s proven track record of developing young players under Darren Way and his management team, Adel Gafaiti is in a great position to fulfil his ambition to re-build his promising career. The Glovers’ boss, commenting on the club’s website, has high praise for his latest recruit: “Adel is a whole-hearted and committed player with a hunger and desire to win. He has impressed me from the moment he joined us at Huish Park and shares the values we hold within the squad. I’m looking forward to working with Adel on a regular basis and am excited to see his continued development.”
Having moved seven steps up the football pyramid, Gafaiti looks back positively on his time at Mousehole, saying: “I can’t speak highly enough of Mousehole and the Endorsed programme for giving me with the perfect platform to get back into the pro game. The club and programme are run as well as any pro club I’ve been involved with. It’s also a great place to live, and everyone connected with the club is so positive, kind and supportive.”
Endorsed Academy’s manager Sam Shulberg, himself a former Yeovil Town coach, acted as the go-between for the move and reckons there will be more to come. “We of course wish Adel all the best and will be keeping a close eye on his progress. His move has alerted other EFL clubs that we are serious about creating pathways through to the pro game. So there is every opportunity at Mousehole/Endorsed for young players with talent – and the right attitude and determination – to better themselves, whether they are starting out at this level or dropping down a few leagues in order to step up again.”