FOOTBALL: Opportunity for teen ace

3:20pm Wednesday 30th April 2014

By Alex Bysouth

A STELLAR performance with three lions on his chest has set up an exciting future for Little Leigh’s Daniel Bruce.

The teenager was an integral part of England Schools’ FA under 18s’ success in the Centenary Shield earlier this month, which saw them pip Northern Ireland to the trophy.

And now the Grange School student, picked as man of the match as a reward for two assists against Republic of Ireland, is not short of options for his next move.

“It was a proud moment, an amazing experience and such a privilege to get selected,” he said.

“There have been coaches at the games watching me play and they’ve shown an interest. I’m not stressing about it, but this summer I’ll have a few trials.

“If they like the look of me and think I can progress then that’s their decision to make; I’m happy that where I end up will be where I’m meant to be.”

Bruce’s back-up plan is not too bad either.

The teenager, who plays for Congleton Town in the North West Counties League, has been offered a scholarship to study at the University of North Carolina in America.

If he goes, he’ll play football for the 49ers.

“If nothing comes of the trials in July then I’ll be heading to Charlotte,” he said.

“It’ll be awesome to go there.”

For now Bruce is reflecting on one of his ‘proudest moments’ after lifting the trophy following a 1-1 draw against Scotland at Ewood Park.

“It was an honour,” he said.

“There were kids waiting in the rain asking me to sign soggy pieces of paper – one even asked for my shin pads!”

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