17-year-old attacking midfielder Gabriel Ebede was scouted from our events by both Charlton Athletic and Sheffield United.
We caught up with Gabriel to discuss his football history, why he chose to attend our events and what has happened since.
First of all Gabriel talked us through his footballing background, explaining: "I have been playing football casually since I was 5 years old. It wasn’t until I was 13 when I moved to the football school Buckswood that I became more passionate about football and aspired to play at a professional level."
"With Buckswood, I played above my age group in the u16 national cup final (ISFA) at St Georges Park and although we lost, I gained valuable experience. With Buckswood I have won the Player’s Player or Coaches Player of the year award in every age group I have played for."
"I have also played for a local club in Sussex (Select Soccer) where together we reached the u16 John Davey Sussex County Cup Final where I scored my teams only goal but we suffered a loss."
Gabriel also included his G/A for both Buckswood and Select Soccer:
(2017-2022) - Buckswood Football Academy
(17/18) - 6 goals, 5 assists (u14)
(18/19) - 18 goals, 12 assists (u15/u16)
(19/20) - 11 goals, 8 assists (u18)
(21/22) - 6 goals 1 assist in 4 games so far
2019-2020 - Select Soccer Eastbourne
(Mid Sussex Youth Football League u17)
5 goals 3 assists in 8 games
Moving on, we wanted to know why Gabriel chose to attend our events even though he was at one of he best schools in the country for football, he told us: "I didn’t have the opportunity to be coached in a team setting until I came to England. Therefore although I am very technical and physically able, my tactical understanding of the game wasn’t adequate enough yet."
"I even went to a UK Football Trials event where I wasn’t scouted. However, after a couple of years, I became more confident and tactically aware and decided to try my luck again. I have been to three trials since then and was scouted by Charlton Athletic and Sheffield United twice!"
Gabriel went on to explain what it was like training and playing with professional academies: "It was good, we had a training session before we went into an 11 aside game. I played well in the game creating a couple of chances but we still lost 3-0. It was a great and valuable experience as I got to play with and against players, I believe are on a similar or even higher level right now compared to myself."
Unfortunately for Gabriel his time with Sheffield United was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He received an email from the scout explaining: “Straight after the ID game we were put in another lockdown and this has disrupted any plans and movement going into the club. All part-time staff including myself have been put on furlough so are not allowed to do any work for the club until this lockdown finishes... Regarding the game, we are looking for a winger & you match the profile we are looking for - I've spoken with the head of recruitment who was on the sideline watching the game, we are trying to make something happen however with this whole covid situation I don't know when anything is happening.”
Gabriel offered some advice to players in a similar position to himself: "I would advise other players to train consistently individually and if possible, with a club team. I would also advise players to get their fitness to a high level before attending trials as this will make a big difference and help you stand out."
UK Football Trials would like to congratulate Gabriel and wish him the best of luck with his football.