17-year-old goalkeeper Killian Barrett was scouted from our camp by Hartley Wintney and has gone on to sign for the club.
We caught up with Killian to firstly discuss his football history, he told us: “I have played football for my local club Ballisodare United since I was 7 years old. After the under 14 season finished I went for trials to local League of Ireland clubs, Sligo Rovers and Mayo U15 Airtricity SL. I was selected for the Mayo U15 squad and I played the full season.”
“I also played for my school Summerhill College and won notable tournaments; the All Ireland Futsal title in my 1st year in the school. I also played and won in the Under 19 Senior schools Connacht Final when I was only 15 years old. This was a huge highlight for me.” He added.
After gaining some insight into his past, we wanted to understand why he chose to attend our event. He explained: “I was playing in a very good standard of football and I gained a lot of experience playing for different teams. However, because of my location I needed to get seen by scouts in the UK and that’s why I needed to travel to UK Football Trials camp to learn and challenge myself in an intense football environment.”
After a strong performance throughout the week at the camp, Killian learned there was interest from Hartley Wintney. He talked us through what happened: “I received an email inviting me to a trial. I was nervous but I was really looking forward to the challenge of a trial for a UK football club, it was an opportunity I really wanted to grasp with both hands. There were some other players who had also been invited from the UK Football Trails camp that I knew so that also helped me during the game. The experience was super and the preparation from UK Football Trails certainly helped me to perform at my best.”
Killian again impressed whilst trialling with the club and was invited to sign. He told us: “I was offered a place with Hartley Wintney FC Academy which I accepted. I moved from Ireland to Reading where I took up an education course and played for the U18's, U19's & U23 teams in the club. I was made Captain of the Under 18 team after a few months and I am really enjoying my time here and gaining really good experience and improving as a goalkeeper all the time as I'm training everyday.”
We asked Killian for advice for players in a situation similar to himself, his take was: “UK Football Trials is a great opportunity to get seen, you can learn so much from the coaches and they really prepare you during your camp. You can test yourself against other players of similar age and talent. You can work on your skillset and mindset if you really want to get scouted, success comes with hard work so you have to be able to take the knocks and be able to pick yourself up and go again.”
Everyone at UK Football Trials would like to congratulate Killian on his brilliant performance at both our camp and the trial with Hartley Wintney. You can track his progress by checking out his Instagram account by searching @theirishgk04