Current Northumberland FA U18 goalkeeper Callum Harley is on track to be the latest success story from the County FA side, as he jets off to the USA later this year on a football scholarship.
Rejected by Newcastle United because of his height, Harley has paved his way through the grassroots system, playing for the likes of Cramlington Juniors and Wallsend Boys Club before joining up with Tyne Metropolitan College whilst still in full-time education.
“Tyne Met has allowed me to play category one football at a really high level, which has excelled me to play to my full potential,” said Harley.
Aside from his studies, the Northumberland FA U18 captain has already played in the Northern League with Division One side Whitley Bay – acting as the second choice shot-stopper for the four-time FA Vase winners.
Next on the agenda for the 18-year-old is the final game of the season against Sheffield & Hallamshire FA, where Harley will make his 14th and final appearance for Kane Wears’ side before flying across the pond to pursue a professional career.
“For next year I have accepted a US scholarship at a Junior college in Mississippi,” added Harley. “I will be there for two years until I go to another university for my final two years somewhere else in the US.”
The U18 side currently sit 5th place in the Association of Northern Counties East Division with a game in hand over North Riding FA - and a win would see them end the season with a mid-table finish.
“I have played 13 games and have one cap for the NFA, which is a privilege,” added Harley. “We are confident about winning the next game, as you have to be for every fixture, especially after how well we played last time out.”
Everyone at Northumberland FA wishes Callum the best of luck with his new venture and look forward to following his progress in the USA.