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Cheltenham Town "found it impossible to say no" to Edward as 15-Year-Old 'Keeper Signs

Published Friday 23rd of September 2016 01:44 PM

Goalkeeper Edward Hewitson has signed with Cheltenham Town after he was scouted at our event in Birmingham earlier this year.

Edward, 15, caught the eye of several scouts at the trial in Sutton Coldfield this Summer and within weeks of attending, he was on his way to League 2 side Cheltenham Town for a trial.

The 5ft 7' 'keeper, who had trials at Cardiff City two years ago, spent six weeks with the club and did enough to earn a one-year-contract with a view to a scholarship next year.

Rob, Edward's Dad, revealed how they've found the experience: "The process all started when Edward came along for his second session with UK Football Trials and it went really well for him," he said.

"Birmingham City saw him and recommended him to Cheltenham because of the location situation - he was invited to train in July  and he's been there training for a couple of months since. 

"Initially, they were a bit worried about his height but he played in a few games (one against Wolves) and in the end they said they found it impossible to say no."

Rob added: "He's obviously over the moon and hopefully if he can continue to improve on the right track then they will offer him offer a scholarship next year."

Another factor that had an impact on Edward's arrival at Cheltenham Town was that of Ashleigh Hopkins, who coached at the UK Football Trials in Birmingham and later went on to work for Cheltenham with the u18's - around the same time Edward was there on trial.

Ashleigh said: "It's great to finally have Edward signed at the club. I've seen him on several occasions with UK Football Trials and he was highly recommended by the Goalkeeper coach on the day, Mark Grew (former West Brom and Leicester City 'keeper).

"Edward has an old head on young shoulders and is a confident boy, which comes from his years of constant work and dedication. For me, as a coach for the Welsh FA, it's always great to sign young Welsh players to help improve the future of Welsh football."

This story can be seen as a perfect example of a player who has had an unsuccessful first trial, but has put in the hard work, returned a better player and ultimately ended up getting signed by a professional club.

Rob eluded to how the experience of the first trial played a big part in the success of the second: "The first trial was almost a test to see how things worked and on the second time we knew what to expect and he could plan how to approach the day," he said.

"The more scouts you play in front of the more chance you have - football is a game of opinion and some scouts are looking for a certain type of player, you just might not be that player."

He added: "You have to be prepared not to get disheartened at not getting picked on the first trial, but if you go back again it could be you that they're looking for."

Edward has recently been involved in some sessions with the u18's 'keepers and is progressing well within in the club.