THE FOOTBALLING talents of one young South Elmsall goalkeeper have been spotted by Championship side Doncaster Rovers.
Eight-year-old Braiden Smithers has signed a 12-month contract with the Keepmoat Stadium club to be part of their Centre of Excellence this season.
The Moorthorpe Primary School student has been playing for Moorthorpe Rangers for the last three years and Rovers have spotted some star quality in the talented youngster.
The South Yorkshire club have acted quickly to secure Braiden to a season-long contract with their youngest squad in the Centre of Excellence and he’ll be keen to continue his blossoming career between the sticks for Rovers.
He’s been playing the game for three years and also played in defence, midfield and attack before feeling most comfortable in goal for local junior club Rangers.
The youngster will now look to showcase his talents and further his career with the Football League club with the ultimate aim of rising up through the Doncaster Centre of Excellence ranks.
Rovers weren’t the only club in for his services, however, with West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town also showing a keen interest in the South Elmsall stopper.
Braiden, who’s a big Liverpool supporter, attended three Development Courses with the Terriers but instead opted to join Rovers on the back of being invited to train with the club on a development contract.
He’s now signed on to become a fully-fledged Rover and will attend weekly training sessions at the club’s bases at the Keepmoat Stadium and Rossington.
The South Elmsall star is set to play in matches against counterparts from clubs such as Rotherham United, Hull City and Notts County over the course of the season.
The only negative is the fact he’ll have to stop playing his football for Moorthorpe on a weekend.
Braiden would like to thank Andy Burden and his dad Rikki for coaching him.
Rovers under-9s are back in action on home soil this Sunday when they welcome their York City counterparts.
See this week’s Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.