16-year-old Ben Lilley was scouted from our Sheffield trial in April by six clubs including Birmingham City and Sheffield United. From there he has trialled with Altrincham and has since gone on to sign for Buxton.
After speaking with Ben's father Paul, we gained more of an insight into his football history. He told us: "Ben started his football with the young owls and then had to move down to Wiltshire where he joined Warminster Highbury FC. Due to a house move Ben then Joined Trowbridge Town Fc."
"After receiving the player of the tournament award for Trowbridge Town FC, Ben was scouted by Bristol Rovers. Having trialled for Bristol Rovers for 6 weeks at the age of 10, he was unsuccessful but he didn’t let this get him down, he continued to work hard on his game and regularly played both grassroots and JPL football."
"He moved back to his childhood team Warminster Highbury FC where he was taken under the wing of his old coach and developed into the player he is today. Warminster won numerous leagues and cups and Ben was instrumental in them all."
"He had spells in the JPL with FC Wilts, BWB and most recently Saints southwest where they finished 2nd in the league with Ben finishing as the leading goal scorer and he also had the most assists."
Talking with Ben, he told us why he chose to attend our event, explaining: "I’m not sure why I wasn’t scouted again after Bristol Rovers, maybe the scouts didn’t come to any of my games."
"I had a trial with UK Football Trials in Manchester but didn’t get any interest. Once COVID allowed, I wanted to try again and the Sheffield trial came up."
He continued: "I showed my Dad and the trial was ran where my dad used to play football as a kid. It had to be fate so he booked me on and I did really well, getting six clubs interested in seeing me again! It was such a proud moment in my life."
After learning six clubs were interested, Ben was invited to trial with Altrincham he told us: "When I went to Altrincham the facilities were really good and all the staff were really nice and welcoming. I had such a great time there."
He offered advice for players like himself who are looking for an opportunity: "My advice to anyone else would be to never give up on your dreams and they will come true as long as you keep working hard and believe in yourself."
UK Football Trials would like to congratulate Ben and wish him the best of luck with Altrincham. We will continue to monitor his progress and release updates as they come in.