The most promising football talent to come out Bourne in many a year is blazing a trail at Norwich City football club.
George Couzens, who first played competitive football for Rippinglale and ripped it up with the then Arthur Mellows Village College, is now playing against the best youth sides in the country in the Barclays U18s Premier League.
The dextrous footballer is shaping up to be a real striking talent at the highest level. Despite being just 16 it looks just a matter of time until the young striker breaks into the club’s senior side.
He has recently played for the Norwich’s under-21 side playing against Manchester United and Chelsea youth teams.
When speaking to On the Ball City he said: “I trained with them [U21s] for a few weeks and you notice how much quicker and it tougher it was but I enjoyed it.
“My target is to get permanently in the under-18s and then to keep pushing for the under-21s.”
Couzens’ journey to Norwich, who play in the second tier of English football the Championship, has been an interesting path having trialled at the club he supports Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur however he felt Norwich was a better fit for him.
Couzens said: “I went here first, went to those two, and I liked this place best.”
“People have asked me why I came to Norwich and I said because it’s more of a family club and I got a good feeling from it. They made me feel welcome when I came here.
“When I went to Manchester United it was just a massive place and you’re like one of so many, but here everyone knows everyone’s name. It just feels more like home and I’m happy here.”
He moved out of the family home at just 14, to pursue his dream of a career in professional football one day and so far the risk has paid off.
He said: “It was easier than I thought it would be. I thought I would miss home more, but because I was doing something that I love doing, I didn’t really think it was that bad. It is better than being at school.”
Couzens had a stunning first year in the Norwich academy scoring 30 goals for the club. He was rewarded with a football scholarship at the club midway through the season which sees him play for the club and study towards a qualification in sport
Injury has slightly blighted his progress in the last year but he is now back to full fitness and back threatening the defences of the under-18 league.
Couzen’s career as a striker was somewhat an accident. When at Lincoln City playing age group football his side were without strikers and so the midfielder was promoted. He scored a hat-trick and has never looked back.
On Saturday Couzens started up front in Norwich’s 5-0 loss to Leicester City. They face West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.