FC Ingolstadt 04 have announced that 19-year-old midfielder, Maximilian Thalhammer, has signed his first professional contract with the Schanzer.
The German Under 20 international has sealed a three year deal with the 2. Bundesliga club, which will keep him at the Audi Sportpark until June 2020 at the earliest.
Thalhammer becomes the third Ingolstadt youth player to be awarded a professional deal in recent months, following Lukas Gerlspeck and Japanese Ryoma Watanabe, as the Bavarian club look to adjust back to life in the second division following Bundesliga relegation last season.
A Bavarian native, Thalhammer joined the club from Eintracht Freising in 2014 and has since gone on to establish himself in the club's Under 23 side that play in the Regionalliga Bayern; where he scored three and assisted the same last campaign.
After training with the Schanzer's first team on a number of occasions, the midfielder has subsequently been awarded the chance to battle it out with names such as Almog Cohen and US international, Alfredo Morales, for a place in Maik Walpurgis' squad.
Delighted with the opportunity
It comes as no surprise that Thalhammer was delighted with his first professional contract, as he told the FC Ingolstadt club website, "Of course, today a dream came true for me! I would like to thank the club for the faith shown in me." The 19-year-old added however that he still has work to do, as he said, "I am proud of my achievement, but there is still a long way to go."
Sporting Director at the club, Harald Gärtner, also had his say. "Max came to Ingolstadt as a 16-year-old and has continued to develop excellently. He has now played for a number of the German youth sides, from the Under 18 to Under 19's, and has now even made five appearances for the Under 20's," Gärtner said. The 48-year-old added, "If he continues to work hard, he will have great success with us!"