A former Manchester City goalkeeper looks set to sign for a new team this summer after being invited for trials with three clubs.
Michael Statham, 14, received interest from several scouts at our trial event in Manchester earlier this summer and has already enjoyed trials with Accrington Stanley and Oldham – tonight he will play in trial match for Preston North End.
His dad, Mike, said: “He’s spent a few weeks at Accrington now and played in a match against Salford City which they won 2-0 and he saved a penalty, so it’s going well there at the moment and he’s enjoying it.
“Oldham would like another look and want him to train with the u16’s and tonight he’s got the opportunity with Preston which is a good chance at a well run club.”
The young shot-stopper, who already stands at 6 foot 2’ and has size 11 feet, spent 18 months at Man City when he first start, followed by three seasons at Blackburn Rovers and a year at Burnley, where he has just left.
So quite the CV and a wealth of experience for a player in such early stages of their career, something that Mike thinks is benefitting his son in this latest set of trials.
“Nothing really phases him,” said Mike, “He just takes it all in his stride and gets on with it – I’m the one that still gets butterflies in my stomach!
“I think because he’s been playing in that environment for 5 years he’s used to it, he loves it and trains three or four times a week – he lives for football.”
Mike added: “We don’t know what will happen yet but we’re just taking it game by game and we will see.”
The next step for Michael will be to go away with Accrington to the Youdan Trophy this month, where he will be assessed further.
Accrington Stanley Head of Academy Recruitment Dave Bailey explained: “The Youdan Trophy will be a great opportunity to see him in some matches and have another look at him.
“When I saw him at UK Football Trials he had a presence straight away, he’s a very young ‘keeper with a lot of promise and I liked his size, reactions and confidence.
“He’s a good shot stopper and we are hopeful that we will sign him and see how he develops - hopefully he will challenge our current ‘keeper.”
Harry Price, UK Football Trials Director, added: “Michael was outstanding from minute one and to gain interest from several clubs shows that he has the right attitude and commitment.
“He is a great goalkeeper and we wish him the very best of luck.”