King’s School Ely pupil who has signed for Norwich City dreams of playing for England
- Credit: Archant
It is every youngster's dream to play football for England - yet for eight-year-old Ben Collier, the dream might just come true.
The Ely resident, who started his career training with Cambridge United's Under 7s, has just re-signed at the Norwich City Academy for the 2013/14 after a successful first year at the club.
The goalkeeper, whose heroes are England's Joe Hart and the Canaries' John Ruddy, clearly impressed scouts at the club despite a tough training schedule which has meant travelling 60 miles two nights per week and at weekends, whilst also keeping on top of his studies at King's Ely Junior.
Next season's regime gets more demanding still - an extra night per week, plus regular matches against some of the country's other brightest young footballing stars.
However Ben, who was recently chosen to star in the club's 'Dare to Dream' video promoting Norwich City's new home kit for the 2013/14 season, is confident he can reach the top.
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'I would like to play for England in goal,' he said.
He clearly has the energy needed for a professional playing career. 'I enjoy the academy,' he said. 'Sometimes it's quite hard but I've enjoyed a lot of the training. When I get home in the evening it's about 9pm but I don't really feel tired in the morning.'
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Ben's training often consists of distribution sessions, where he is practising throwing or kicking the ball long distances out to players on the field, as well as saving shots and keeping defenders in check.
Mum Janine Collier said: 'It's every little boy's dream to be a professional footballer. Obviously, they're all really thrilled to be at the academy but we all know it's very early stages and that very few people end up becoming professional footballers.
'What we've seen at Norwich is that they will do everything they can to maximise his potential. It is also good for him to be mixing with people outside school and to be learning the concept of teamwork.'
She added that it also helped her son to 'develop a discipline and focus' and that the club has worked closely with King's Ely Junior to ensure his studies are not affected by his playing commitments.
Ben's nine-year-old brother, George, could also be joining him on the professional football scene - he is training with Cambridge United.