Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

Bradley Stoke goalkeeper, aged 8, signed by Bristol City

Posted on Friday 22nd March 2013 at 6:50 am by SH (Editor)

Will Ferguson, Bristol City FC Academy.

A local primary school pupil has been signed by Bristol City FC’s Academy team after being spotted by a scout while playing for Bradley Stoke Youth FC (BSYFC).

Will Ferguson, 8, who attends Bowsland Green Primary School, has been signed as a goalkeeper for the Academy’s Under-9s team after being coached for three years at BSYFC.

First spotted by a Bristol City coach last June, Will was invited to join an eight-week trial at the Football League club, which involved training twice a week over the summer.

By the start of the new season in September, Will was playing football five times a week, consisting of two nights training with Bristol City, one night training with the South Gloucestershire Goalkeeping Squad, one night training with BSYFC and taking part in a BSYFC match at the weekend.

Having officially signed for Bristol City, Will is no longer allowed to play in Bradley Stoke’s league games. His new regime includes three nights of mid-week training with the Football League club (including cross-training in the gym and on the judo mat) and ‘development football’ games at other professional teams’ grounds around the country, which has already seen him playing at the training grounds of Reading, Chelsea, Notts Forest and Arsenal.

An added bonus of being an Academy player is that it entitles Will and his dad to free tickets for Bristol City home matches.

Writing on the club’s website before Will’s last game for BSYFC earlier this year, coach Tony Fryer said:

“Will has been training with City for some time, and we all knew it was only a matter of time before they offered him a contract at the Academy. Will has been a great player for the team and a smashing lad to have at training.”

“We will all miss you Will, but everyone at the Club can be proud of your achievements.”

Will’s parents Karen and Mike (a former goalkeeper himself, having played for St Anne’s and Roman Glass) have their work cut out driving the young player to the various training venues, but say they are thankful they don’t need to travel as far as some of the parents of other youngsters in the Bristol City Academy squads, who come from as far away as Hereford.

Outside of his school and sporting activities, Will relaxes by playing X-box games and watching WWE wrestling on TV. Asked if he has ambitions of becoming a professional footballer, he says he isn’t sure and will “take it as it comes”.

Will’s sporting heroes are Joe Hart of Manchester City and Iker Casillas of Real Madrid (naturally both goalkeepers!).

Football certainly runs in the Ferguson family: Will has two older sisters and an older brother, all of whom have all played in local teams, with two of them still active in the game.

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