Bexhill United striker Jacob Shelton still harbours hopes of becoming a professional footballer.
The 18-year-old spent a couple of years at Brighton & Hove Albion earlier in his career and would love to have a crack at full-time football.
He said: “I was at Brighton from halfway through under-14s to under-16s and it was brilliant. I played with some ridiculously good players and I loved every minute of it.
“Gus Poyet (former Brighton first team manager and current Sunderland boss) did a team-talk with us once and now he’s in the Premier League. I’ve still got confidence I can make it as pro; if not semi-pro.”
Shelton gained a taste of senior football as a fringe player with Sidley United last season, but has really shot to prominence since joining Bexhill in the autumn.
He has already scored 10 goals in all competitions for the Pirates, two of which came in the Boxing Day derby victory over Little Common. He also won a penalty and set up good friend Kasey Smith for his first senior goal.
Bexhill-based Shelton started playing football with Bexhill-based youth outfit Glenco and later spent two seasons at Little Common before joining Hastings Town Youth 2000, from whom he was snapped up by Brighton.
Shelton, who also plays for Hastings u18s and u21s, is a second year student at Bexhill College where he is studying A levels in sociology and PE. See tomorrow’s Bexhill Observer for the full article.