Saturday, 20 January 2018

Painter eyeing pro deal

A TEENAGER from Henley is a step closer to winning a professional football contract.

A TEENAGER from Henley is a step closer to winning a professional football contract.

Liam Painter, 17, will be one of 88 players taking part in the semi-final of Samsung’s nationwide Win A Pro Contract competition on Sunday.

There are three contracts available at Football League clubs Leyton Orient, Swindon Town and Wycombe Wanderers.

The Henley College student said: “It feels brilliant that I have progressed to the semi-final but I know that this is where the hard work starts and where I must prove myself to be the successful player that I know I am.

“I feel I deserve this chance and fully intend to grasp this opportunity with both hands and to show off both my ability and desire to succeed at the highest level possible.

“I can only dream of how winning a professional contract will feel because, ultimately, it will be something that I have been striving to achieve all of my life.” Painter, of Gainsborough Crescent, was one of 5,700 players to enter the competition and took part in regional trials in Isleworth in October.

It included skill games testing different attributes and a five-a-side match.

On Sunday, he will play in an 11-a-side match at Wycombe’s 10,000-capacity home ground Adams Park.

Painter, a striker, plays for Thatcham Town’s junior and senior sides and is currently top scorer across all four divisions in Allied Counties Youth Football League with nine league goals in seven matches.

He said: “I’m sort of nervous but quite calm at the same time because I’ve been through trials before for clubs such as Reading and AFC Wimbledon so I know what to expect.

“I’m quite confident and looking forward to Sunday and I’ve just got to do the best I can, which is all I’ve done so far. I’ve definitely got a chance.

“I play semi-professional football at the moment, which is experience some of the others won’t have.”

The final will take place on January 12.

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