Burnley FC opened their newly developed training ground this month and one of the first to walk through the doors was UK Football Trials player Will Couch.
Will, 12, attended our trial in Manchester at the beginning of June and received interest from two clubs – Burnley and another club in League Two.
Shortly after they first spotted Will, Burnley made contact with his family and invited the young playmaker down for a trial at the club’s brand new training facility.
Will, who plays as a central attacking midfielder, trained with the u13’s on Wednesday this week.
Tony, Will’s dad, explained: “We went down for a couple of hours and had a bit of an introduction and a tour of the training ground before he joined in training with the other boys.
“It’s fantastic from what we’ve seen so far and it’s a great time to be involved with the club – they’ve got Premier League status and now have the new training ground so things are on the up.”
Imagine being a 12-year-old boy who has been invited to train with a Premier League club – and now imagine it’s the club that you support.
This is the case for Will who could often be found sat in the terraces at Turf Moor last season cheering on the clarets, making the experience all the more special.
“We live in Burnley and are all Burnley fans,” said Tony, “So obviously he’s very excited but we’re trying to keep his feet on the ground, a lot can happen at this age in football.
“But he enjoyed the first session and got involved and settled in well, he’s not too phased by it.”
The trial with Burnley provides a big step up for Will, who did have trials with Blackburn and Bolton a couple of seasons ago, but he now finds himself in a different world.
Will, who captains his school side and one of his local teams, Brierfield Celtic, is coming off the back of a successful year having been voted Player of the Season and also breaking the school’s 1500m record.
His trial in Manchester was the first time he had done anything like it and Tony described is “an excellent platform.”
He said: “When we got to UK Football Trials the setup was excellent, there were a good number of lads there and they all looked like footballers and like they could play at a decent standard.
“We saw the groups of scouts on the pitch and in the stands and it was definitely the right place for him to be, it’s an excellent platform and he got stuck in and enjoyed it.”
Will is set to continue training with the club twice a week until the end of the month when a decision will then be made on his future.
We wish him good luck for the rest of the trial and will bring you updates on his future as we get them.