Premiership future beckons for St Albans football prodigy
- Credit: Archant
Premier League clubs are showing interest in a former St Albans college student with quick feet who - it is hoped - is a football star in the making.
Kaine Wright, 18, joined Oaklands College a few years ago from Bexleyheath in London.
The sporty teenager was taken on by EDSV Academy, which was set up by Chris Watters and Billy Highton.
Targeting selected student athletes, the academy focusses on football and developed a partnership with the St Albans based college in 2012.
Billy said: “Kaine turned up when we had a trial as he was watching a friend and asked if there was any chance of joining in.
“We gave him a shot, and he scored nine goals inside the first 30 minutes – we knew he had talent straight away and offered him a spot.”
The academy and Oaklands joined forces to organise somewhere for the teen to live, as Kaine had previously been constantly on the move, staying at different places because of family issues.
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Billy said: “The college was a huge support, for example it also organised food for Kaine and helped give him stability.”
Asked about his earlier football years, Kaine replied: “I was at West Ham when I was younger, playing for their academy. But I couldn’t sign there for a while because of family problems.
“I started playing when younger, and I used to chase the ball around when I was two years old – I love it when I have the ball.”
Kaine, whose footie idols include Lionel Messi and Neymar, credits EDSV for “improving my attitude and confidence. Team mates are friends on and off the pitch.”
Before a match he watches YouTube videos of various players so he can recreate their moves.
Although Kaine finished at EDSV last season, the academy continues to looks after the teenager’s financial affairs and his ongoing management, including taking him to trials at various clubs. He still trains five times a week at Oaklands’ Smallford campus to maintain fitness.
Billy said: “He has been trials at Brentford, Watford, Benfica, S.C Braga and C.S Maritimo in Portugal, which offered him a contract but because of financial issues at the club we were unable to agree contract terms, but we are still in talks with them.
“We believe Kaine has the ability to make it. You can see he has got the ability to try new things and express himself on the pitch. He has quick feet and is difficult to get the ball off.
“Kaine has been talking to clubs but until he turned 18, he couldn’t sign with anyone – he didn’t have a guardian to sign for him.
“However the doors are now open for him, as he can legally sign for himself.”
Kaine has recently enjoyed a stint with Orlando City Soccer Club, which he described as a “good experience despite the pressure”.
But now, he is keen to play in Europe, explaining, “I’m more of a technical player”.
Billy said: “He has a number of opportunities on the table, which I’m unable to disclose, including Premier League teams in the UK.”
He and Chris have high expectations of the teen as, “four lads from EDSV have already signed professional contracts, so we hope that Kaine is going to be the next one.”
Kaine added: “I’m really excited about it all.”