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Sydney FC promote teen striker Lokolingoy

NZN 21/02/2017 Emma Kemp

Sydney FC have pounced on future A-League star Charles Lokolingoy, promoting the prolific teenage striker to their first-team roster for the rest of the season.

The 19-year-old Young Socceroo, who emigrated with his family from the Democratic Republic of Congo aged 11, has been training with the squad on a scholarship contract this campaign but impressed coach Graham Arnold enough to earn a permanent spot.

Lokolingoy has enjoyed a stunning youth career with the Sky Blues, helping the team reach last month's National Youth League grand final and finishing as last season's NPL 2 top-scorer with 27 goals in 28 games.

"I still have a lot to learn in the game," the former Sutherland Sharks player said.

"Every day I'm learning in training with the attacking players ... the boys are all very supportive, I feel more comfortable every day.

"My goals now are to continue being fit (because) you never know when you could get the call-up, so I keep working hard and hopefully get some minutes in before the end of the season."

Arnold has already hinted his young charge will make his A-League debut before this season is out.

"Charles is a fantastic young, attacker with all the qualities to excel in the game," Arnold said.

"I've seen a steady improvement in his game during his time training with the first team, he's had an exceptional year with our NPL and Youth League squads, and he'll continue to improve now he's a permanent member of our first-team environment."

The promotion comes as Sky Blues defender Riley Woodcock was granted a release to pursue other career opportunities.

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