Norfolk school's head boy wins scholarship with Football League club

Hethersett Academy student Gabriel Overton in action for Peterborough United's academy.

Hethersett Academy student Gabriel Overton in action for Peterborough United's academy. - Credit: Supplied by Inspiration Trust

A Norfolk schoolboy has spoken of his excitement after being offered a scholarship with a professional football club.

Gabriel Overton said hadn't played much football before he was 13 – but his natural ability was so obvious he went straight into the team after moving to Hethersett Academy.

The all-round sportsman impressed so much he was offered trials at Norwich City, before joining Peterborough United's u16s side.

And coaches at Posh's academy were convinced enough of his talent that he has been given a two-year scholarship with the club's u18s team.

The teenager said: "If I hadn’t joined Hethersett Academy in Year 9, I wouldn’t have started playing and none of this of would have happened. The school has always been incredibly supportive of my football, and has done whatever they could to support me.

“The first time I met Mr Austin he put me straight in the team when I hadn’t even played much football before – I had mostly played tennis. Ever since I’ve had continued support from Mr Austin and the rest of the school. They’ve let me go for matches, training, and other meetings, because they knew I’d catch up on any work missed and would never let it affect my school work."

As part of the programme, he will move into club accommodation where he will combine full time football training with academic work.

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Hethersett Academy's head of PE Nick Austin said: "Gabe is an exceptional sportsman and an exceptional young man. He has every attribute going for him both academically and sporting. He’s as modest as they come, but he is filled with confidence in his own ability.

"Most boys will say ‘I want to be a footballer’ at some point, but Gabe is the only person who has told me ‘I am going to be a footballer’. There was never any question in his head that it would happen, and he absolutely has the ability to back it up."

Mr Overton added: “It was a real feeling of relief and happiness when I was offered the scholarship. It’s been a lot of work to get to this point, and my parents have done so much to help, so it was fantastic for all of us.

"I really enjoy it at Peterborough and I’m really excited for what comes next.”