A TALENTED young Strabane footballer has got his foot on the first rung of the ladder to the professional game by signing for League One side Sheffield United.
David Parkhouse, who turned 15 in October, signed for the Blades last weekend after first catching the eye of United scouts early in the year by scoring five goals for the Northern Ireland U16s in a warm-up game against a Dublin City select..
Sheffield continued to monitor the striker’s performances while playing for his club Maiden City Soccer Academy, the Tyrone Milk Cup junior team and Northern Ireland. The hotshot was subsequently invited on trial in September and last weekend put pen to paper by signing a three-year scholarship and one-year professional deal.
It’s a dream come true for the young marksman who is determined to grab his opportunity with both hands.
“It’s something I have always wanted to do and now it’s happening for me,” he said.
“I was offered a contract the first week I was over. I landed on the Sunday and was asked did I want to take part in a game that had already started.
“Sheffield were 2-0 down to Preston North End and I came on and scored two goals. Preston got a lucky goal at the very end to win 3-2.
“I made an instant impression with the under-15s but trained the rest of the week with the U18s and U21s and played an U18 game. The coaches were happy with my workrate and all the rest.
“Last weekend I travelled over with my parents and I couldn’t have asked any more of Sheffield United. My education, my accommodation and everything is being sorted out to our satisfaction.
“I’ve got my foot in the door and the hard work starts now.”
Full story in today’s Strabane Chronicle