Huge congratulations to Cameron Maltby who has had great success signing for Barnsley, starting from grassroots level, overcoming being released from a club due to size and now U14 Academy Captain.We spoke to Andrew, the father of Cameron to learn more about his journey and it really is inspiring to hear!"Andrew - tell us about Cameron and his football history:"Started at grassroots for his local teams Warriors Newark on Saturdays and Welton on Sundays. Cameron won all his league and cup titles and then got scouted by Nottingham Forest and went into the development academy but was released after a year as Cameron was deemed too small by the club. Cameron then ended up signing for Notts County where he played for 4 years and went unbeaten throughout a full season. Unfortunately due to the men's first team being relegated to the National League this meant the club lost their CAT 3 academy status. From here Cameron was then offered another 8 week trial with Nottingham Forest which went well but just as before the club didn't take it any further than the 8 week trial which was really disappointing.
"What was the reason why you think you weren’t getting an opportunity and decided to come to a UK Football Trials Event?"I believe players get overlooked at an age of 12-15 due to growth of players and academies potentially focus on more development players rather than looking at individuals actual technical ability and attitude. I also believe attitude is key at that age level to not only want to learn but also taking coaching onboard and use it in a game situation. We looked at other avenues for getting Cameron seen by academies and this is where we came across UK Football Trials on the internet.What was your club trial/training like for the 4 week trial? What did you do, how did you find the whole experience?Academy football isn't for everyone and can be demanding with clubs expecting performances week in, week out and the challenging environment but also knowing to achieve and develop as a footballer you need the coaching platform and academy structure to hopefully gain a scholarship for the club.How was the decision to sign for Barnsley given to you and how is life at the club as an Academy player?We attended a UK Football Trials event in Sheffield where Cameron was spotted by Barnsley and requested our details to speak with us. After a successful 4 week trial Barnsley approached us and wanted Cameron to sign through his hard work, determination, his technical ability and his positive attitude. Cameron now plays against CAT 1 and 2 clubs on a daily basis. Cameron plays centre midfield for the U14s and has now made captain for his age group.What advice would you give to other players who think they have the talent but need an opportunity to get scouted?I would recommend any players to use as many opportunities and pathways as they can to showcase their abilities as you never know who might be watching when your training/playing. I would advise players to stay positive and take everything you are coached onboard. Every player will receive knock backs in football but it's how you come back from it that counts.We are delighted for Cameron and his family and it is great to hear how he has come from a few set backs and continued to work hard, be positive and take the opportunity when it was offered after an excellent trial performance. We wish Cameron every success for the future and look forward to see the journey with interest!