A talented teenager has won a two-year football academy placement after impressing a panel of experts in Stamford.
The FootballCV Academy, based at the Borderville Sports Complex, in Ryhall Road, announced Brandon Taverner as the winner of their scholarship competition, in partnership with FourFourTwo Performance.
Aspiring footballers were offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to impress an expert panel which included former England striker Tony Cottee and win the scholarship at FootballCV, worth £42,000.
Cottee, the former West Ham United, Everton and Leicester City frontman, took his place alongside fellow judges professional scout Dave McNish and FootballCV’s Gary Brown, Steve Welsh and Simon Orwin to pick from the 24 hopefuls.
After progressing through regional trials in London, Manchester and the Midlands, 24 finalists were put through their paces at the Borderville Sports Complex – facing drills and tests for the judges to gain a greater insight into their ability and personality both on and off the pitch, before taking to the field for a showpiece match on Sunday, April 10.
Brandon, a left-footed striker, scored a first-half brace to seal his place at the academy, where he will start in September.
He said: “I’m excited, this is the break I’ve needed for such a long time and I’m going to keep working to get to the level I want to.
“I went to a couple of trials at Barnet and Arsenal, I didn’t get picked up but I didn’t give up; I knew an opportunity would come around again and it has.”
While the 17-year-old took home the main prize, places on FootballCV Academy’s upcoming residential camps were awarded to Daniel Faulkner and T’ai Williams, while Keenan Marley was invited to appear in a showcase trials match at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium.
Academy students stay at their own exclusive boarding house at the former Garden House Hotel building, in High Street St Martin’s, Stamford.
Speaking about the finalists, Graham Starmer, managing director at the FootballCV Academy, said: “They’ve stayed the weekend at the boarding house and that has allowed us to to see what they are like as people, and characters, too.”