Of the many young boys and girls who dream of a career as a professional footballer, few get even close to feeling that it might be a possibility. But for Haygrove Year 11 student, Todd Watts this ambition is getting closer as he waits to hear whether Bristol City Football Club will offer him a 2-year U18 Scholarship which could lead to a coveted professional contract.
Todd started his football with local club Bridgwater Wolves who he played for from age 6 to 12. He was picked out as someone with football potential by Bristol Rovers Youth Academy where he trained and played until he was scouted at a match between Bristol Rovers and Somerset County Schools invited to join Bristol City. As well as academy football Todd plays for the Haygrove School team and has also represented his home town in the Bridgwater District Schools league.
‘I was so excited when I was told Bristol City wanted me to join their academy. The facilities and the coaching and fitness programme they offer looked excellent and of course City play in the Championship which is a league above so the opportunity to join them was not something I was going to turn down,” said Todd.
Travelling up and down to Bristol from Bridgwater for training, usually three times a week, and travelling again at the weekends for matches has meant that Todd has had to be extremely organised and mature about his approach to his school work since he started at Haygrove and now he is preparing for his GCSEs and is on target to get good grades in all his subjects.
Of his future plans, Todd says, ‘Of course, I would love to get a football scholarship and be a professional player, but I do have a back-up plan if that doesn’t work out. I have applied to both Richard Huish College and Bridgwater and Taunton College to do A Levels and could then go to university. Both Rovers and City, and my family, have always been realistic and honest with me about how hard it is to have a career in football, but I am still hopeful that it works out for me!’
Bristol City have had some excellent results lately, beating Watford, Coventry and Millwall who are all tough teams to conquer. Todd played in all three matches and is hopeful that in May, he will be lucky and be offered a scholarship with the club.