Our first winner for this year is Riley Baker of 9L, who was nominated for his excellence and achievement in football. Riley started playing football at the age of 5 years, when he was encouraged by his family to become a member of Gt Bradfords FC, where he stayed until the age of 9, developing his skills within those 4 years.
His next move was to Chelmsford City FC where he played until, at the age of 11 years, whilst playing in a tournament, he was spotted by a Chelsea FC scout. However, at the time it was felt the travelling distance was too far and his manager at Chelmsford City, who had links with Tottenham Hotspur FC (Spurs), arranged for a trial there for Riley. Coaches at Spurs were impressed with Riley’s ability and he joined their satellite scheme, still at the age of 11, where he has played for the past two years. After another six week trial, Riley has now joined as a member of the Spurs Academy and at the age of 16, he hopes that he will be signed up for the first team! Although his current position is centre back, he has been a midfielder and also a striker. He will be at Spurs on Thursdays this year on day release.
Last year, whilst in Year 8, Riley had two fantastic experiences when he had two 1-week tours playing other junior squads in Portugal and Qatar. His Spurs squad played the Qatari team twice – winning both games. In Year 9, there will be lots of travel at weekends, when Riley will be playing other teams’ Academy squads around the country. Riley is giving the PE Department his £200 award funding in order that they can purchase new, named tracksuit tops. Riley’s commitment to his sport, dedication to training and competitive spirit have enabled him to reach an incredible standard of performance at such a young age. He must be congratulated on this success and level of achievement, as well as his passion for football, which will take his career further.
Mrs Jacqui Smith
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