Two of local football’s brightest prospects have been snapped up by Accrington Stanley.

Seventeen-year-old, Zehn Mohammed, of Blackburn, has signed a two-year professional contract with Stanley.

The talented centre-half began his career with Blackburn Rovers before moving on to Stanley when he was 14. Kasom Shah, aged 16, has been signed to the youth team.

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Full-back Kasom has been with the club from an early age and recently lifted the Lancashire County cup.

Speaking to Asian Image Sport, David Bailey, the Academy’s head of recruitment said the Asian community still remained an untapped market: “We have looked to recruit in that area.

“We want to build relationships with the community as there are some talented players out there. This shows it can be done.

“They are two positive role models and I am really proud of them.”

Zehn said he was looking forward to stepping-up a level.  “I came to Accrington for a trial and signed for the Under 16s. I have learnt a lot since I signed, it’s a lot more intense, and I had to step up my training. All my coaches have been brilliant.

“I just want to thank all the staff at the club as well as my family.

“My parents are really proud.”

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David Bailey said he was happy to have spotted Zehn and pleased with how far he had come as a footballer.

“I discovered Zehn via his school QEGS and came in at under 14s after it didn’t work out at the Blackburn Rovers Academy. He was a midfielder but has moved to centre back.

“He is very good in the air and the bonus is he can pick a pass out too. This is a big opportunity for him.” Zehn said: “I used to play for Mill Hill in the Sunday League.

“It was hard as quite a few of the lads signed up to academies during my four years there and I wondered if I would get my chance.

“Now it’s a big chance for me, training with the first team. I have already been involved and the first team players have all been supportive.”

Zehn’s father Shokat attended Billinge High School and was a keen footballer himself. He said it was important for footballers to be playing at 11-a-side level.

“I think a lot of Asians might think that playing 5-a-side is enough and training once a week is enough but they need to be playing at Sunday league level and hopefully get recognised by academies

“Academies will help because they will be training you a lot.”

Kasom will look to establish himself in the youth team within the next year. He will train with the first team and whilst he plays at full-back he has also been used in the centre back position.

Asked about why there were not more footballers from the Asian community reaching these levels Kasom said: “As I was growing-up I was living in a predominantly Asian area but I didn’t play for an Asian team from a young age.

“Even though you are in such a small area there were different styles of football.”

Asked why he joined the academy he said: “I wanted to do what everyone else was doing. If they got an opportunity to play they would prosper. Zehn is also a role model to me as well.”