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Championship Spotlight:

Buzzing Bolasie

As part of Sky Sports' Championship spotlight, Graeme Bailey catches up with Crystal Palace star Yannick Bolasie.

Championship Spotlight - Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey Posted 12th February 2013 view comments

The 2012/13 campaign is about to enter the final straight, with promotion pushes and relegation battles now in full swing.

Here at Sky Sports we continue to take you to the very heart of the Football League, with our Spotlight features intended to give you a greater insight into the clubs and players that keep us on the edge of our seats.

Yannick Bolasie: Enjoying his time at Crystal Palace

Yannick Bolasie: Enjoying his time at Crystal Palace

We are hoping to bring you the views and thoughts of a representative from each of the 72 teams over the course of the season, with those involved asked to give their take on the division they compete in, the club that pays their wages and those we should all be keeping an eye on.

Crystal Palace star Yannick Bolasie is next in the hot-seat, with Palace's promotion campaign and his own future on the agenda with Graeme Bailey.

So things are going fantastic for you at the moment Yannick?

Yeah definitely, I think the main thing is that I have had the chance to play a lot of games and that has helped my development and has helped the team and I am just happy to be playing.

So let's start literally from the beginning. Born in France in Lyon, when did you come to England?

I came over here aged about seven months so I have pretty much been in England all my life, everything from nursery over here so I am British really.

You started your career at Rushden & Diamonds, is that right?

I did not really get picked up, I had a two-week trial and just kept going back, but I was not really part of any youth team - I just played the odd game for them, but there was no real spark there.

So then you went into non-league football...

Yeah, Under-17 and 19s I was with Hillingdon and I played in the first team - but I soon moved on and moved to Malta.

Moving to Malta is a strange move for anyone, how did that come about?

One of my cousins' friends was out there and he knew I had some talent so he wanted to see what I was like - so I went out there on a two-week trial with Floriana and they signed me for a year, and I stayed there.

You were soon back in England though?

Yeah I came back and it was similar thing, I had a friend scouting for Plymouth and I got a two-week trial and they signed me on a three-year contract. Paul Sturrock told me I needed games I went out on loan and got games, Barnet and Rushden - but then by the time I came back he was gone and they got relegated which led to me joining Bristol City.

Bristol City you spent just a year with, was there a reason for that?

I didn't really get the chance I wanted at Bristol City - I don't think I settled as well as I could have, especially compared to how I have since settled at Palace. But that is football, some places you do well and some you don't.

So you signed for Palace, did you expect to make the impact you have?

I have gained so much confidence since going. I was told to go out and express myself - under Dougie Freedman and now Ian Holloway and it has just been so good for me, not many people expected us to be up there - but football is a strange game and we will take it game by game and hopefully we will carry on doing what we are doing.

We know a lot of clubs were watching Palace because of Wilfried Zaha - but it is yourself who has caught the eye of a number of clubs, that must be flattering?

Yeah to be fair, I don't really listen to what goes on outside football and all that, but when you hear it from people it is good and gives you even more confidence and shows me whatever I have been doing I should carry on doing it.

You have nearly 200 first-team games under your belt despite being just 23?

I didn't even know that to be honest, but it is great. It is some achievement to nearly have 200 games and I am pretty happy with that but all I want to do is extend that.

You have come from the non-league route into the game - how important is that?

The way I have come through a lot of players like myself , you do learn a bit more and you originally appreciate it more as you know how hard it is and I do respect everyone who has come through like that.

It is conceivable that this time next year you will be in the Premier League?

That would be a dream come true and hopefully that is with Palace.

We also have this situation of your international allegiance. You qualify for DR Congo, have you ruled out England?

If I keep performing the way I am, what I am doing with Palace and what Ian Holloway is teaching me there is a chance and I haven't given up hope. I am taking everything in well and learning. You can never predict the future

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