Every footballer dreams of playing for their country and for one Sunderland teenager the dream has come true.
Callum Patton, 18, from Barnes, has been selected to play for England College’s under 18’s when the team play against Australia on January 31.
Callum was called up just before Christmas, he said: “When I first heard the news I couldn’t quite believe it, I was completely speechless. To be following in the footsteps of so many of my idols is a dream come true.”
The striker made it through three stages of trials seeing off competition from hundreds of other young hopefuls before being selected. The Sunderland AFC supporter is currently studying for a BTEC National Diploma in Sport (Development, Coaching and Fitness) at Sunderland College’s Football Development Centre (FDC).
Michele Di Mascio, lecturer and FDC coordinator, at Sunderland College said: “This is great news for Callum and for everyone here at the Football Development Centre.
“We train students to improve their footballing ability and academic knowledge of sport. Callum is one of our hardest working students so he thoroughly deserves it.”
Callum has already netted 15 goals for Northern League side Chester-le-Street Town FC and is hoping to one day do the same for England.
Callum said: “I’ve had some fantastic support from my mum and dad, friends and everyone at the college, all are really pleased for me, especially my granddad, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so happy.
The match against Australia will be taking place in Solihull, Birmingham and Callum has big hopes for the game.
Callum said: “There will be quite a few scouts watching the game from many of the top clubs in the country. My ultimate dream is to be spotted and offered a professional contract. My favourite footballer is Steven Gerrard and just like him I hope one day to be scoring for England.
Callum will also be part of the 22 man squad when the team tour Eastern Europe in May.