Young Fulham midfielder George Okkas is relishing his opportunity to follow in his family’s footsteps and play professional football – praising head coach Marco Silva for valuing young talent.

The teenager, who has been a key figure in Fulham’s under 18 side since a successful trial at Motspur Park three years ago, has started to make an impact for Steve Wigley’s under 21s – scoring twice in an action-packed win at Blackburn Rovers last month. Okkas, who has represented his native Cyprus in youth football, gave a wide-ranging interview to Londonworld’s Chris Wheatley, where he majored on how pleased he is to be with Fulham.

“Fulham are doing very well. It’s very hard to get into a team where there’s a lot of quality players. But with the few conversations I had with the coaching staff and Marco [Silva], I understand he cares about young players. If I’m playing well, there’s always the possibility [of making the senior side]. That game [against Blackburn] was one of my best games this season. It’s always good to score two goals, especially after not playing a lot of games. It was important not only for the team, but also for my personal achievement. It’s a good step in the right direction.

Okkas picks out a number of Fulham first-teamers who he admires.

“There’s a couple, I’d say for sure. The first one is [João] Palhinha. I just like the way he plays forward and the way he tackles. I also like [Bobby] Decordova-Reid because I admire his intensity in every game, he’s always aggressive. He’s always up for the game up for the challenge. And I also like [Andreas] Pereira because of his flair, freedom and the way he plays the game.

“Right now, my goal is [to play in] the Premier League with Fulham. I started with a goal when I came to England – and I want to finish it.”