A Stoke-on-Trent footballer is on the verge of winning a professional contract as part of a national competition.
Jack Sherratt, who plays for Kidsgrove Athletic, is down to the final three of Samsung’s “Win A Pro Contract” from 5,000 entrants.
And the 19-year-old said winning the competition would be a dream come true.
The midfielder said: “To win would mean everything. Words could not describe how I would feel.
“Realising my dream through a competition which over 5,000 individuals entered would be amazing.”
And he is hoping to win for purely footballing reasons.
“I’m not bothered about the potential money. It is about playing football and enjoying something I love.”
Jack has completed a week’s training with League One side Leyton Orient.
“It felt like a dream when we trained with the first team last week,” he added.
“Playing with professional footballers for the week was a great experience. It will be the same when we go to Swindon Town.”
The former Port Vale Centre of Excellence player will now train with The Robins for a week, along with the other finalists Kayden Jackson and Claudio Hoban.
Professional contracts will then be offered to the two winners.
But he knows he has not won anything yet: “I will never give up my dream.
“If I do not win the competition, I will keep working hard. Hopefully someone will spot me.
“I have always believed in my own ability, it’s just being given the chance to prove you are good enough.
“The competition has given me a great boost to my confidence. It has been a great experience.”
And the Manchester Metropolitan University student has also taken heart from the people supporting him.
“My mum and dad have always encouraged me and believed in me.
“The whole of Kidsgrove Athletic have supported me. The manager Shaun Hollinshead has rested me before trials to protect me.
“My friend won the competition last year. I used to play with Chris [Smith] at MMU football academy. I’ve asked him for tips.
“He told me to play my natural game, work my socks off in each training session and just to enjoy the experience.”
As part of the competition, Jack underwent fitness tests at Southampton Solent University. He studies exercise and sports sciences at MMU.
“It was another great experience and it gave me a great insight into what tests professional footballers might undertake,” he added.
“And even though I am at university, I would never give up on football. It is something I have wanted to play my whole life.”