Wrexham seven-year-old spotted by Premier League club

Reporter:

Garth ApThomas

A YOUNG footballer could be on the brink of soccer stardom after he was spotted playing in a local park by a scout from a Premier League club.

Dylan Jones, seven, has now been offered a two-year place at the Stoke City pre-academy.

The youngster, who plays for Borras Park Albion, was invited to attend the club after being spotted playing for his local side.

His grandfather Mike Jones said: “The whole family is proud of him. Dylan is very keen on football, he kicks a ball about from morning to night.

"His favourite position is in defence but he is good at joining in the attack as well and is able to score goals.”

The Stoke pre-academy had room for just 15 footballers from across a wide area in Dylan’s age category, but he more than proved he was up to the challenge.

But talented Dylan, a pupil at Borras Park Infants, is keeping his feet on the ground and sticking with his mates at Borras Park while he progresses with Stoke.

Mike said: “Dylan loves to play for Borras Park Albion. We have been told that up to the age of nine he can play for any club that he wants to in addition to Stoke.”

He added that Dylan's natural flair on the pitch had no doubt been helped along by the guidance of dad Tudor, a former Wrexham schoolboys player and qualified coach.

 


DYLAN is not the first youngster from Wrexham to be spotted by top clubs. Here are some other notable names who went on to achieve great things after signing up with academies.

Mark Hughes: ‘Sparky’ grew up in Ruabon and joined Manchester Utd in the summer of 1980 having been spotted by the team’s North Wales talent scout Hugh Roberts.

He made his first team debut three years later quickly endearing himself to fans by scoring in the 1-1 draw away to Oxford Utd in the FA Cup.

Hughes went on to score 163 goals in a career which spanned nearly two decades.

He won a host of medals during his playing career, including two Premier League title medals, four FA Cups, three League Cups and two European Cup Winners' Cups.

Robbie Savage: The outspoken, combative midfielder went to Ysgol Bryn Alyn, in Gwersyllt.

He then joined Manchester Utd as an apprentice and played in the FA Youth Cup winning team of 1992.

He was later given a professional contract but never played a first team game for the club and signed for Crewe Alexandra in 1994.

Savage made his name in the Premier League after moving to Leicester in 1997. In five seasons he helped Martin O’Neill’s outfit establish themselves in the top flight and, in 2000, won his only silverware to date as the Foxes beat Tranmere 2-1 in the League Cup Final.

Jason Koumas: Wrexham-born Koumas played youth football at the Liverpool Academy with players such as Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen.

However, he did not sign Youth Training Scheme forms with the club, instead opting to join Tranmere Rovers.

He was signed by West Bromich Albion for £2.25m in August 2002.
Five years later he made the switch to Wigan Athletic, who paid £5.3 million.

He has played 34 times for his country since making his international debut in 2001.

He was part of Mark Hughes’ Welsh team which narrowly missed out on qualification for Euro 2004, losing 1-0 in a play-off against Russia.

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