Sunderland AFC striker Josh Maja has been named as the EFL Young Player of the Month for August.
The 19-year-old, who follows in the footsteps of Dele Alli and Wilfried Zaha by winning the award, has made a scintillating start to the campaign, and he scored in four of the club’s opening five league games.
From an opening-day goal against Charlton Athletic to breaking the deadlock against Luton Town, the striker has made a seamless transition from under-23 marksmen to first-team goalscorer.
He netted his fifth goal of the season against Fleetwood Town in the Lads’ most-recent home outing, and he’ll be hoping to add to his tally when Jack Ross’ side face Rochdale at the Stadium of Light this weekend.
The Lads remain unbeaten on home turf this term, sitting fourth in the Sky Bet League One table after eight games.
But Maja explains both he and his team-mates are far from done, and he's set his sights on more goals and more wins.
“I feel blessed, and obviously I'm grateful for the award,” he said.
“I think it is reward for the hard work I have put in, and the goals I have scored in the games I have played, and it was great to contribute and help put some points on the board.”
He continued: “The club have shown faith in me and given me the opportunity to play.
“Coming up through Sunderland’s Academy has been nice because you have people that care about you, and I think the manager has come in and continued that mentality.
“I want to keep pushing myself and show everybody that I can do more, and that this is just the start.
“But our goal isn’t to win individual awards, it’s to win this league and take this club back into the Championship, and as long as we work together as players, as staff and as fans, I’m confident we can do that.”
You can show your support for Maja and the Lads this weekend when they take on Rochdale at the Stadium of Light.
Secure your seat by clicking here, calling 0371 911 1973 or by visiting us at the SoL ticket office.