12-year-old Ben McCarthy was scouted at our Essex event back in November by Championship side Luton and was offered a four-week trial with the club.
Speaking with Ben about his previous experiences with football, he told us: “I have been playing football since the moment I could walk. I currently play for Protec, a pre academy team, which is in the top division of the Watford Friendly football league. And I have previously played for Edgware Team where I was constantly player of the season year after year.”
Although a very talented footballer, Ben does not just stick to one sport, he explained: “Although football is my first love and I am in the A Team for football (who have not lost in the league all season) I am also in both the rugby and basketball A team at Queens Bushey, who are a sports specialist secondary school.”
“I am also a champion cross-country runner and therefore I have great stamina.” He added.
Ben explained his reasons for attending our event, stating: “Many people including myself felt I had what it takes, but I guess scouts were not around when I was playing. I thought it would be best to put my views and many others to the test by attending an open trial.”
And Ben was correct to do so, he told us his experiences whilst with the Championship club: “I was scouted by Luton Town Football Club and the training ground was fantastic.”
“I completed a four-week trial with the club where we participated in many drills and in-house football games. We trained three times a week with excellent input and advice from the coaches.”
He continued: “Luton Town FC were very gracious and said I had the tactical ability but due to the tight crop of Under 12’s with 4 also playing at under 13 level, there was simply no room.”
“If it were another year group then maybe I would have had a better chance. I am still grateful for the opportunity as it has given me lots experience of playing at Academy level.”
As someone who went from playing grassroots football to trialling with a Championship side, we asked Ben what advice he had for players like himself, he said: “Keep trying and don’t give up. You may not fit into one set up or team but that does not mean you will not make it with another. If you have the calling, don’t give up and press on to achieve your goal to play football professionally.”