Littlehampton’s Will set for the trip of a lifetime

Will Stone (left) celebrates winning the Ryman Youth south with Bognor Regis under-18's

Will Stone (left) celebrates winning the Ryman Youth south with Bognor Regis under-18's

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LITTLEHAMPTON Football Club’s youth star Will Stone is set to embark on the trip of a lifetime.

Stone, 17, from Littlehampton, will join up with Genesee Community College in America next month to undertake a two-year football scholarship.

Speaking on how it all came about, Stone, who has played for Golds and Bognor Regis’s under-18 teams this season, said: “I was studying at Southampton City College and they put my name forward to the Future Elite sports agency, who offer sports scholarships in America.

“Once my name was put forward, I had to get footage of myself playing for both Bognor and Littlehampton to send over to the States.

“The scouts out there liked what they saw and I was asked to attend a training camp in Newport back in February.

“That went really well and, fortunately, I was offered a place at three colleges, which was when I decided to take up Genesee’s offer.”

Stone, who will originally be offered a two-year scholarship deal with the college, will also be offered trials at some MLS sides and, should he impress, an opportunity to join up with one of the division’s under-21 teams could be offered.

Stone admits the opportunity was too good to turn down and said: “It’s a massive step for me to take but one I feel is best for myself.

“I have been told that nearly 75 per cent of people that go on to these scholarships make it as a professional and that is my aim. It’s a massive move for me as I have only been away from home for a week at a football tournament in Denmark before.

“But I felt this opportunity was too good to refuse and I will work as hard as I possibly can to make this a success.”

If Stone impresses during his two-year stay at the college, he could get an extension up to four years.

Last season, he won the Sussex County Youth League Cup with Littlehampton and the Ryman Youth League South Division with Bognor.

Stone said: “It’s been a great final season for me in this country.

“I have managed to win a cup with one of my sides and the league with the other to cap off a great year.

“It’s a big challenge that I face now moving away but one I hope will be worthwhile.”

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