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Zambia U20s showing fruits of new philosophy

Zambia
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By ESPN Staff

Schalke record-breaker lands contract

Schalke have given a full-time professional contract to their youngest ever Bundesliga debutant Julian Draxler.

The 17-year-old took his bow in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at home to Hamburg having impressed manager Felix Magath during a training camp in Turkey this winter, and his reward is his first professional contract until 2014.

He has played 12 games for Schalke's Under-19s this season, but will now continue training with the first team having been awarded the No. 31 shirt and a contract which means he will now work full-time at the club he joined as an eight-year-old.

He became the fourth-youngest Bundesliga debutant of all time when he replaced Ivan Rakitic for the final seven minutes of Saturday's match at the Arena AufSchalke.

Only Nuri Sahin, Jurgen Friedl and Ibrahim Tanko began their top-flight careers at a younger age.

"I am very positively surprised by him,'' Magath said recently. "He has a great deal of potential and all he lacks is physical robustness.''

Under Magath's renowned tough training regime, he is bound to catch up quickly in that department.

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