Nottingham Forest Under-21s lost to Harrogate Town in their first-ever Papa John’s Trophy clash. The Reds went down 2-1 to Simon Weaver’s team, with Ateef Konate in form for Forest.
This season Forest have entered an under-21 outfit in the competition for the first time. The Reds competed against the League Two outfit, with Felipe and Callum Hudson-Odoi both playing for an hour.
It was Konate who caught the eye, however. He played the full 90 minutes during the contest and in the first half, he grazed the top of the crossbar with a quality effort.
The player was kept at the City Ground this season and perhaps this competition was in mind. It was perhaps surprising that the club didn’t source a loan for the 22-year-old.
Last season, the player spent a short time on loan with Oxford. He struggled to get in the team, however, and made just five appearances for the League One club.
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Konate was more than comfortable against League Two opposition though. Harrogate had a bit of a torrid time up against him and perhaps a loan to that division could help in January.
For now, however, he will have a chance to get plenty of game time at Under-21 level. He will also hope to play at least two more games against Accrington and Carlisle in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Konate stars as Forest Under-21s lose to Harrogate
The player is now at an age where he needs to be adapting to life in men’s football. Konate is capable too, he showcased that here and Forest have a player on their hands.
Against Harrogate, he took the game to the EFL opposition. He was constantly linking up with Hudson-Odoi whilst he was on the pitch and always trying to probe the defenders.
Konate was unlucky with his effort that hit the crossbar in the first half. He is a hardworking performer and under the influence of Warren Joyce, he could thrive during the 2023/24 campaign.