Proud time for Harry as he represents England on international stage
- Credit: Easton & Otley College
Representing England at a tournament in Italy has filled Diss youngster Harry Whayman with pride.
The 17-year-old Easton and Otley College student gained a place with the England Colleges Football Association squad last year.
Ahead of the Roma Caput Mundi tournament, Whayman played four games, against a Chelsea XI, a Nottingham Forest XI, a team from the Independent Schools Association and a squad from Wales – scoring two goals in four games.
However, the biggest challenge to date was competing in Rome where he was part of an 18-man team who played against Albania, Italy and Malta.
He played in all three games, as England Colleges lost 2-0 against Italy and Albania before securing a 3-1 victory against Malta.
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'The overall experience was brilliant,' Whayman said. 'I was pleased with how I played individually and I thought collectively we got stronger as a team and improved. It was disappointing losing the first two games but we were determined to get a victory in the final game.
'It took a while for us to get used to the different style of football we were up against. There was a lot of diving and the refs gave away free kicks easily. But we had to adapt and that's why it was good to be involved.'
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On the highlight of the experience, Whayman added: 'The best thing was singing the national anthem. It really sinks in what it means to play for your country when you hear it. I'm not an emotional guy so I didn't cry but I certainly felt very proud when the anthem kicked in.'
Next up for Whayman is the second leg of a tie against Wales, which England lead 1-0, then the season will end with a trophy presentation later in the year.
Easton and Otley College football academy coach, Dan Connelly, said: 'This was a wonderful opportunity for Harry and the college is incredibly proud of him. I really think that Harry can get back in the professional game and we will be helping him as much as we can.
'The reports I've heard back is that there were lots of scouts watching all the games in Italy and that Harry did well. This can only be a good thing in relation to his ambitions to get back into the game at a high level.'