Bobby Kamwa’s name came to light last month when he was picked from Leeds United’s squad as the player of the tournament at the Aspire Academy’s Under-18 Tri-Series in Qatar. The trophy and certificate he received has been followed up by a more valuable piece of paper, in the form of a first professional contract at Elland Road.
Kamwa, a central midfielder who was born in Cameroon and moved to England at the age of nine, has helped to push an in-form United-18 side with regular appearances and goals in their Professional Development League this season and he was singled out a rising talent after Mark Jackson’s squad won the Aspire Tri-Series on February 21.
Part of United’s rationale for establishing an official partnership with Aspire, the talent production centre which Qatar built at enormous expense ahead of the 2022 World Cup, was to allow their youth teams to play a wider range of clubs from Europe and beyond and Kamwa made the most of the trip to the Middle East by making minor headlines.
The 18-year-old has now signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Leeds, replacing the scholarship given to him in 2016.
Speaking about his performances in Qatar, where United’s Under-18s contested the Tri-Series with Chinese side Shandong Luneng and Cypriot club APOEL, Kamwa said: “I didn’t know how to feel. That was my first tournament with Leeds, the first tournament I’ve been to, and I went there to win for the team.
“To be named player of the tournament, that’s a bonus. I was really happy.”
While Leeds’ Under-23s, after a summer of major change, took time to settle this season, the club’s Under-18s have been prominent through their campaign and are part of a four-way tie for second place after a 5-0 thrashing of Queens Park Rangers last weekend.
Kamwa, with eight goals, have averaged close to one finish from every two appearances. “I’m a technical player and I like to beat people, to play through ball and score goals,” he said. “That’s what I’m about.”