In some of our biggest news this year, UK Football Trials player Bailey Thompson is set for a six-week-trial with Premier League side Everton FC.
Bailey, 15, attended our Manchester trial in April and received initial interest from Everton scout Andy Smith on the day, who continued to monitor his progress while on trial with Bury.
Five months on and Bailey, who plays as a striker, received his invitation to Finch Farm (Everton's training ground) for a trial match.
Bailey’s Dad, Geoff, explained: “Andy spotted him at UK Football Trials and it went from there really.
“He was invited in to Everton for a one-day trial where he played with the Shadow Squad and they said he was exceptional.”
Bailey scored both goals in a 2-0 victory for his side and was immediately offered a six-week-trial with the full u16’s squad.
“He loved the whole experience and was buzzing afterwards, it’s all he’s ever wanted,” added Geoff.
“Everyone at the academy was really friendly and the level of players he’s playing with is really high, so that will only help him improve.”
Speaking about the UK Football Trials, Geoff said: “This has all come from when we attended their trial really and it’s opened a few doors for us.
“We came to UK Football Trials because I thought he was going to slip through the net but they’ve been brilliant in giving Bailey an opportunity.”
This huge step is the latest in what has been a difficult football career for Bailey so far.
Geoff told us of Bailey’s “heartbreak” at being released from Manchester United after a six-week-trial aged 9, before another unsuccessful trial with Accrington Stanley at 12-years-old, which would have been enough to kill many aspiring child’s ambitions.
However Bailey used it as motivation and now finds himself presented with his biggest opportunity to date, the chance to earn a scholarship with a Premier League side.
We will add more news on Bailey's progress over the coming weeks.