The father of a promising young footballer from Solihull has praised local coaches and his son’s commitment after he jetted off to Holland this week.
Calum Howles, 16, has been picked to have trials with Dutch club SC Cambuur in the hope of being signed up to a professional contract.
Calum’s dad, Martin, who used to play for Birmingham City himself, said he has ‘everything crossed’ that his son can make it at his new club.
“This is the biggest chance now in his life to become a professional footballer,” said Martin.
“Whilst others were socialising he would be running - all those years of training will be worth it if he is successful over there.”
Calum left Alderbrook school in the summer and started a sports course at Warwickshire College this September. The left back captained the Solihull Moors youth team but never managed to get a proper chance at a league club.
“He’s never given up on his career, despite having trials at Villa, Wolves and other teams and being knocked back - he’s always believed in himself,” added Martin.
“When he left school without a club he was devastated, but as a dad and a coach I kept telling him never to give up.”
Calum caught the eye of local top-level coaches, and one of those, Ian Atkins, suggested that he try Holland.
“Cambuur are a good team, they’re tipped to go up to the top league and are having a brand new stadium built,” added Martin.
“I’m not a pushy parent at all, he wants to do this. He’s gambled on himself and by the end of this week we should know if it’s been worthwhile.”