When you’re good enough you’re old enough, as the old adage goes, but it might be a while before Archie Shepherd makes his professional debut - he’s only four-years-old.
Archie has already caught the eye of Premier League scouts and trains with Arsenal as well as West Ham United’s under-6’s. He's also been offered a place in Chelsea’s academy after impressing at one of the club's soccer schools aged just three.
Archie’s reputation was enhanced even further after he scored an amazing 10 goals in one game for his County Park team a few weeks ago.
Parents Pat and Vicki Shepherd are getting used to the attention their talented son receives, and say they’re not surprised at his ability as football’s the only thing Archie’s ever thought about.
“He doesn't stop playing and he doesn't care if kids are bigger than him - he shows no fear.
“He has become quite well known - after the match he had a crowd of people around him telling him he was the next Messi.
“There are a lot of clubs monitoring him and just waiting for him to get a bit older really.
“During half term he went to the Chelsea summer school and he took all the trophies away.
“He is a normal height for a four-year-old but his natural skills and footwork are way above average for his age. He was showing the Under 10s his skills the other week.
“He is just football obsessed - I don’t know where he gets it from.”
Archie may have been touted as the next Lionel Messi but there’s only one man Archie wants to emulate.
“I like Real Madrid - when I grow up I want to be Cristiano Ronaldo,” he said.
And he added: “I love football.”
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