A PROMISING young footballer from Solihull has signed his first professional contract, much to the delight of a top sports coach - and his dad!
Calum Howles, 16, had a trial with Dutch club SC Cambuur last month and impressed the coaching staff so much that they decided to sign him up permanently.
Calum’s dad, Martin, who used to play for Birmingham City, said he is “so proud” of his son.
“This is a massive sacrifice for a 16 year old, leaving behind his life in England, his family and friends,” said Martin.
“But this really could be the start of something big. Although he’s playing in Holland, football is a global market, so he could end up back in England - who knows.
“He didn’t think it was going to come, so I’m absolutely made up for him that it’s all worked out.”
Calum left Alderbrook school in the summer and despite trials at several clubs, including Villa and Wolves, he never got a contract.
Determined to succeed however, Calum joined ex-professional player, manager and scout Ian Atkins at his soccer school at the West Warwickshire Sports Club in Olton. Through Ian’s guidance, Calum got himself the opportunity to try out for Cambuur.
“Calum had a bit of a knock back but he has such a determination about him and a good attitude too,” said Ian.
“It’s absolutely fantastic he’s got this wonderful opportunity now. An English lad going to play in Holland is unique to me, but he’s really made a go of it.”