A YOUNG Gorey soccer player has just signed a three year contract with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Conor Levingston (15) from Sean Doire travelled with his parents James and Caroline, to the UK last Friday, where he was offered a three year contract to play with the club, when he reaches the age of sixteen. After thinking about it overnight, Conor signed with the club on Saturday.
Conor turned 15 on January 21 last, so he won't move to Wolverhampton until July 1, 2014, at the start of the season.
'He's doing his Junior Cert first,' said his delighted father James. 'He'll have to finish his schooling over there. Tutors will come in to teach them, and by the time he's finished his contract, he will have enough qualifications to come home and go to college, if he is released from his contract. He can even do his Leaving Certificate over there if he wishes, or do the UK equivalent.'
'But first and foremost, he's going there to be a professional footballer,' he added.
The Gorey Rangers midfielder was recently also signed to the Ireland Under 15 development squad, and travelled to Qatar for several games before Christmas. As well as playing with Rangers, Conor has also played GAA since a young age and was a key player in Naomh Eanna's Under 14 All Ireland Féile success in 2012. Both clubs have congratulated him on his achievement.
'He'll miss his hurling and football, but in the end you have to make a decision,' said James.
He said that Wolverhampton were over a few times looking at Conor, and invited him to play as a guest in the Hibernia Cup. They were so impressed with him, they brought him over the following week and he played against Fulham. He went over again before Christmas and played against Crewe.
' They then invited myself, Caroline and Conor over at the weekend and we were offered the contract on Friday afternoon,' said James. 'He signed on Saturday. He would love to go tomorrow. He's very happy.'
' The club was absolutely fantastic,' he continued. ' They showed us everything that will happen over there, and we even met Dean Saunders, the manager of the senior team and he took us into his office and had a chat with us.'
' This is only the beginning,' he added. 'You're offered the first contract but you have to earn the next one, and then the sky is the limit. He has to put the hard work in.'
Conor will stay with a family in the UK with another player and will have a strict regime, including a 10 p.m. curfew. He will travel home when he can and his family are also welcome over to see him any time they wish.
James said that Conor's club Gorey Rangers are 'absolutely over the moon.
'He's the first Gorey man ever to be signed,' he said. He thanked the scout Willie Byrne who brought him over to Wolverhampton. 'He's a pure gentleman,' said James. 'He started Robbie Keane's career with Wolves.'
He said that players normally signed until they are closer to 16. ' They saw something they liked and they wanted to get him before anyone else,' explained James. 'He'll know everyone on the team before he goes as he has a year and a half to get to know him. The young lads are excited about him going over, because the better a player is, the better the team is.'