Derby County have confirmed the signing of 13-year-old goalkeeper Harvey Randle, after spotting him at our trials in September.
Harvey’s dad, Kevin, told us about the journey his son has taken to get to this point.
Congratulations on the great news, how did it come about?
It started off at UK Football Trials in September; a Derby scout saw Harvey and invited him to an open trial at the club and he did well. They asked him back to train at the academy for a couple of sessions and from there it turned into a six-week-trial. That’s just finished and thankfully he’s signed.
How did Derby tell you they wanted to sign Harvey?
We got an email before his last session of the trial asking us to come in early, when we got there they invited into the office. We sat down with three of his coaches and they said they’d like him to sign - Harvey was chuffed to bits.
Has he played at anything like this level before?
He actually started quite late, only two years ago he joined Castle Vale Spitfires and started playing Sunday League. Within his first season he was spotted by the blues (Birmingham City) and they sent a few scouts down to watch him again a few times. From there he had a trial and ended up staying there for about 8 months, playing in games and training regularly. Unfortunately in July this year they had to release him because they already had two ‘keepers signed, which was when we booked him a place at UK Football Trials.
For someone that only started two years ago, he’s done incredibly well…
Yeah he was just a late starter really. He decided he wanted to be a ‘keeper and did a few sessions in the evenings but that was it to be honest, he’s developed really quickly. Birmingham brought him on loads and he learnt a lot there.
What has it been like for Harvey training at a club like Derby?
Derby are first class, I can’t fault them in any way. It’s a great academy, the facilities are spot on, and he likes it there and gets on with everyone well.
What did you think of the UK Football Trials process?
I’d recommend anyone to go, there are genuine scouts there who can pick you up if you play well enough on the day.
And finally, what advice would you have for other players?
Harvey didn’t really do anything special; he just did lots of goalkeeper training. He’s been training at least three times a week, so that’s the biggest ones really, just train lots and work hard.
“I had a good look at him at UK Football Trials and he conducted himself well. He impressed me with his handling, communication and distribution.” – Derby County scout Damian Hutchinson.