Sam Meisel has been given the opportunity that many boys dream of — an invitation to train at a top football ground in Italy with Stevenage FC’s Academy team.
Sam, who is 10 and lives in Radlett, will eat, sleep and play football for a week at professional sports facility Sportilia and compete against top European academies.
A student at Michael Sobell Sinai School, he started playing at Excel Sport six years ago and was invited to trials at Gaston Boys FC and Brady Maccabi in the Watford Friendly League.
His goalkeeping abilities were soon identified and he undertook additional training with Watford coach Adrian Creamer at the Goalkeeping Academy UK, where he has continued ever since. He has also had trials with Spurs, Brentford and Barnet.
When the call came from Stevenage, the youngster signed a one-year contract last August.
His father, Wayne, said: "Sam has been having an amazing time, travelling around the country and training with the team. The trip to Italy will give him a real flavour of professional football life.
"Every decision along the way has been Sam’s — he is really dedicated and after a few knocks, got straight back on his feet and got the chance he wanted; it just shows you what a kid can achieve if he really puts his mind to it.
"We owe huge thanks to all the coaches at Stevenage, especially Jorden Gibson who has brought Sam on so much and given him this chance."