Berlin – Despite the currently challenging and uncertain situation surrounding the Coronavirus and its effects, Hertha BSC are continuing in securing their squad for the coming years and developing players from the academy is one of the club’s key objectives. This philosophy has been highlighted over the past few years, with a number of players graduating through the academy to play for the first team. Jessic Ngankam is the latest player to have achieved this feat, after head coach Bruno Labbadia named him in his Bundesliga squad for the first time on Saturday, before giving the striker his league debut late on in the 3-0 win over TSG Hoffenheim. The 19-year-old has now signed a long-term professional contract with the club. “Jessic has developed really well lately and has already shown his talent with the U23s in his first year at this level. He has been at the club for 14 years and we’re delighted that he’s now taking his first steps as a professional with us after graduating through our academy,” said sporting director Michael Preetz on Tuesday (19/05/20). “I have played for Hertha BSC since I was five years old. As a Herthaner I’m very proud to sign my first professional contract where it feels like home. This is what I’ve been working towards my entire life. Now the door has been opened for me, it’s up to me to take this opportunity!” said the striker after signing his new contact.
Ngankam was born on 20th July 2000 in Berlin and has played for Hertha BSC since 2006, rising up through the ranks of the academy. The right-footer has made a total of 105 appearances for the youth teams (U23, U19, U17), scoring 58 goals and providing 18 assists. Ngankam has enjoyed huge success during his time in the academy, winning the A-Junior Championship in 2018, as well as participating in the U19 UEFA Youth League last season, scoring four goals in six matches. The youngster has continued to impress this current season for Hertha’s U23 side, scoring eleven goals and providing eleven assists in 22 appearances. He is now ready to take the next step into the first team.