Footballers Connor and James through to All-Stars national squad trials

Footballers Connor and James through to All-Stars national squad trials

New City College footballers James Bone and Connor Hunt have been selected for the Southern region National Football Youth League (NFYL) All-Star team – and will now attend trials at St George’s Park – the English FA’s national football centre.

James and Connor, who are both studying the Level 3 Sport course, and are part of the Tottenham Hotspur Football Development Centre at our Epping Forest campus, are the first ever students from NCC to be chosen for the highly-regarded team and are looking forward to taking part in a day’s training and trial matches on December 13th against the NFYL Northern region team.

If they impress the coaches and talent scouts on the day, they will become part of the All-Stars national squad.

James, who started college in September, and currently plays centre-mid at Enfield Town, said: “This is a really big opportunity for me and I am looking forward to it. It’s a shop window for scouts for the big clubs so it’s really important. I’ve had some setbacks, having been released from Arsenal and Reading in my younger years, so it is a massive chance for me to push on in my career dream of becoming a signed professional at a major club.”

Goalkeeper Connor, who has previously been with Stevenage, Leyton Orient and Spurs, said: “I’m excited for what’s to come. It was a great feeling to know I had been selected above so many other players. This course has opened up loads of opportunities for me – it’s been the best way forward to develop my ability.”

The boys, both aged 16, were chosen from hundreds of other aspiring footballers during trials held in Oxfordshire.

James, who travels from his home in Cheshunt to New City College each day, added: “Throughout my whole life I’ve had a passion for football, so when I saw the Sport course at NCC was combined with the Tottenham Hotspur Development Programme, I knew it would be the best option for me. It’s been an excellent decision. The course is great, the coaches are brilliant and it combines classwork as well. It’s well worth travelling from Cheshunt to Loughton to be part of it.”

Connor, who lives in Roydon and achieved top grades at his former school, St Edmund’s College, chose to enrol for the Sport course at NCC above many other offers he had. He said: “I chose it for the Spurs link and because it looked like the best of both worlds – giving me the chance to focus on football, but also get an academic qualification as well. It has already opened up opportunities for me and as long as I keep working hard I know it will bring me many benefits.”

Paul Griffiths, Tottenham Hotspur Football Development Centre Programme Head Coach at NCC Epping Forest, said: “This will be an incredible experience and an opportunity for Connor and James to showcase their ability and we hope from this that they get selected for the overall All-Stars team. To be able to play at St George’s Park, where there are world-class training pitches and state-of-the-art performance facilities, is amazing in itself.”