Ely youngster Ben re-signs at Norwich City FC Academy after successful first year

Ben Collier signing a new contract at the Norwich City Academy.

Ben Collier signing a new contract at the Norwich City Academy. - Credit: Archant

IT is every youngster’s dream to play football for England – and for eight-year-old Ben Collier, the dream might just come true.

Ben Collier

Ben Collier - Credit: Archant

The Ely resident has re-signed at the Norwich City Academy for the 2013/14 season after a successful first year at the club.

The goalkeeper, whose heroes are England’s Joe Hart and the Canaries’ John Ruddy, impressed scouts despite a tough training schedule which has meant travelling 60 miles two nights per week and at weekends, while also keeping on top of his studies at King’s Ely Junior.

Next season’s regime is more demanding – an extra night per week, plus regular matches against some of the country’s other bright young stars.

However Ben, who was recently chosen to star in the club’s Dare to Dream video promoting Norwich City’s new home kit for the 2013/14 season, is confident he can reach the top.

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“I would like to play for England in goal,” he said.

“I enjoy the academy. Sometimes it’s quite hard but I’ve enjoyed a lot of the training. When I get home in the evening it’s about 9pm but I don’t really feel tired in the morning.”

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Ben’s training often consists of distribution sessions, where he is practising throwing or kicking the ball long distances out to players, as well as saving shots and keeping defenders in check.

Mum Janine Collier said: “Norwich are doing everything they can to maximise his potential. It is also good for him to be mixing with people outside school and to be learning the concept of teamwork.”

She added that it helped her son to “develop a discipline and focus” and that the club has worked with King’s Ely Junior to ensure his studies are not affected by his playing commitments.

Ben’s nine-year-old brother, George, could also be joining him on the professional football scene – he is training with Cambridge United.

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