OF the many young boys and girls who dream of a career as a professional footballer, few get even close to feeling that it might be a possibility.

But for Haygrove Year 11 student Todd Watts, this ambition is getting closer as he waits to hear whether Bristol City Football Club will offer him a two-year Under-18 Scholarship which could lead to a coveted professional contract.

Watts started his football with local club Bridgwater Wolves, who he represented between the ages of six and 12.

He was picked out as someone with football potential by Bristol Rovers’ academy, where he trained and played until he was scouted at a match between Bristol Rovers and Somerset County Schools, after which he was invited to join Bristol City.

As well as academy football, Watts plays for the Haygrove School team and has also represented his home town in the Bridgwater District Schools league.

Watts said: “I was so excited when I was told Bristol City wanted me to join their academy.

“The facilities, as well as the coaching and fitness programme they offer, looked excellent and, of course, City play in the Championship, so the opportunity to join them was not something I was going to turn down.”

Travelling up and down to Bristol from Bridgwater for training, usually three times a week, and travelling again at the weekends for matches has meant Watts has had to be extremely organised and mature about his approach to his school work since he started at Haygrove.

He is now preparing for his GCSEs and is on target to get good grades in all his subjects.

“Of course, I would love to get a football scholarship and be a professional player, but I do have a back-up plan if that doesn’t work out,” Watts said.

“I have applied to both Richard Huish College and Bridgwater and Taunton College to do A Levels and could then go to university.

“Both Rovers and City, and my family, have always been realistic and honest with me about how hard it is to have a career in football, but I am still hopeful that it works out for me.”

Bristol City’s academy have had some excellent results lately, beating Watford, Coventry and Millwall - Watts played in all three matches and is hopeful that, come May, a scholarship offer will be the reward for all his hard work.