FORMER Holbeach United Youth player Conor Cable has earned a scholarship with Championship side Bristol City.
The goalkeeper has just heard the news – deserved reward for not being put off by release from Norwich City just three weeks earlier.
The true level of his resolve to achieve and the belief in his own ability saw the 16-year-old travel 2,000 miles in that period, trialling for clubs to secure a scholarship.
He went to Championship sides Ipswich Town, Leicester City, Peterborough United, Derby, Birmingham City and Bristol City.
And last week the call came from Ashton Gate offering Conor a full scholarship to start in early July.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have achieved the scholarship and am looking forward to training on a daily basis with players like (former England keeper) David James.”
At the time of his acceptance of the offer, Peterborough and Derby were still very interested in Conor and further calls were received from West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland.
Conor, of Whaplode, was late to football, showing no interest until he joined Holbeach United Under-tens under the management of Nigel Whitworth.
Nigel signed Conor and for the first season he really struggled to make the goalkeeper position his own.
Perseverance paid off, though, and the second season saw him become the first choice in that department and from there he started to develop.
After two years the mentorship changed hands and John Coote and Chris Stebbings took over management of the then Under-12 team, a period during which Conor’s potential became more evident.
He was spotted by a scout from Nottingham Forest andspent two years at their player development centre and academy, before being released aged 14.
He then trialled for Derby, Peterborough and Norwich.
The Canaries signed him on a two-year pre-scholarship contract, during which time he improved immensely under the coaching of Darren Lovell and Darren Plowman.
During his Under-16 season Conor played in a Premier League tournament at which City became national champions.
In five games, he only conceded a total of one goal.
He has since played up for Norwich’s youth team and for the Reserves in a 3-1 defeat by West Bromwich Albion.
But just two days later the bomb was dropped and Conor was released.
He said: “I’ll miss the friends I made at Norwich but I’m now fully focused on working hard at Bristol City.”
There are many people who have helped the Spalding Grammar School pupil on his journey so far, including family, Nigel Whitworth and Gary Holt and Neil Adam his team coaches over the past two years.