St Helens Town have taken 15-year-old Shiraz Hussain on trial after scouting him from our Manchester event in April.
Shiraz, who has never had a trial with any club before, was contacted shortly after our event and joined up with other trialists at St Helens, as his brother Shehroz explained.
“The UK Football Trial went really well and we got an email after four or five days saying that they’d like to see him again,” said Shehroz.
“We went down to the club’s training ground and I think that trial went well too.
“They started off with 30 minutes of training, doing a few drills and he got to know the other boys - a few of the first team joined in with the other players on trial so they were playing with real semi-pro players.”
Shehroz continued: “They then did a full 90 minute game followed by a short half-an-hour game and then a warm down, so all the players got lots of opportunity to show what they can do.
“It was really helpful, they took the boys out of their comfort zone and he got to play with players from all around the world - he enjoyed the new experience and the physicality of training with men.”
Previously Shiraz had only ever played for local sides where he lives in Scotland, finishing last season as his club’s top scorer.
So what made St Helens take a gamble on a 15-year-old with not so much as a semi-pro trial on his CV?
Keith, a scout from St Helens, revealed: “A lot of players at these trial events play as individuals, which is only natural, everyone’s trying to stand out and Shiraz was too, but it was what he did off the ball that impressed me.
“His movement was great and he was always looking for space and looking for the ball.
“I try to see past the selfishness that players can display when they’re under pressure in front of the scouts and get them in to my club in a natural environment - I know if he’s playing in a team every week with players he knows then he would play the right ball.
“He needs to be a bit stronger but he’s a young lad and held his own against the older boys. We will monitor him and see how he gets on in the future.”