Leyburn youth footballer signs for Hartlepool

Darlington and Stockton Times: James Dawson James Dawson

A YOUNG footballer is following in the boot prints of his cousins after signing a contract to become a professional footballer.

Goalkeeper James Dawson, 15, has secured a two-year contract with Hartlepool United.

The deal means the Wensleydale School pupil will train three days a week and go to college for two days to gain a qualification in sport, while playing a match on Saturdays.

Despite his age, James has already been on the bench for Hartlepool Reserves for a match against Premier League side Hull City's own reserve team.

The former Leyburn Juniors player was selected for the area team last season and county squad this season.

James one day hopes to play against his cousins, Andy Dawson, who plays for Scunthorpe, and Mike Dawson, who plays for Tottenham.

Lee Wasden, head of PE at the Wensleydale School, said: "James is a smashing lad, very talented in a range of sports from football to cricket to hockey and has the temperament and necessary self- motivation and desire to succeed.

"We all wish him the best of luck."

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