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Academy player joins Crystal Palace

13 September 2023

We're delighted to confirm that one of our highly promising Academy youngsters, Donte Martin, has joined Premier League Crystal Palace.

A highly talented and quick centre forward for the Under 14s squad with a real eye for goal, Donte's performances saw him play in higher age groups last season and subsequently attracted the attention of Crystal Palace.

The move is a bitter sweet moment for Academy Manager Jimmy Dack, who said:''Donte is an outstanding talent and whilst we are very disappointed to lose a player of his calibre, this is a fabulous opportunity for him and we will watch his progress with pride. We never want to lose a player of Donte’s ability, but he has worked so hard and deserves his chance to play with and against the very best talent in the country. We pride ourselves on recruiting and developing young players and it is testament to the quality of our Academy coaches and staff that Donte will follow the footsteps of many young Sutton players and ply his trade at the very highest level''.

As Director of Football, Terry Bullivant is equally proud of the progress Donte has made, saying:  ''When I first saw Donte, I knew the lad was good. He has great technique, he is very quick, he is a good finisher, trains hard and has a great attitude. With all those attributes it was only a matter of time before someone like Palace came along. There are lots of other talented boys within the different phase groups and Donte will be one of many who will have the chance to play much higher up the pyramid. The Academy is exceptionally well run and it is very exciting knowing how much quality we have within each squad''.

Donte himself said: ''I have really enjoyed my time at Sutton United and can’t wait to continue my journey with Crystal Palace. The coaches have been great and have always encouraged me to play with a smile on my face. There is so much quality at Sutton and I will always be fond of my time there. I’d like to thank Jimmy Dack and all the staff for their support in helping me to realise my dream of playing for a Club in the Premier League’.

We all wish Donte well as he starts out on his career with Crystal Palace, a move that underlines the quality of players and coaching in the academy, with Kylian Kouassi having already graduated through to first team level with us before moving to League One Blackpool, and Matt Kerbey, Ollie Khinda and Jack Taylor all being involved in the first team squad and now out getting loan experience with Hendon, Chertsey and Burgess Hill respectively.

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