Young footballer has his goal in sight

A youngster is a step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a footballer after joining a top Championship club’s youth set-up.

Christian Cullerton, eight, who has already scored a goal at the Nou Camp in Barcelona, will play and train with the Blackburn Rovers Academy under nines team after signing for the club. In the coming season Christian, a pupil at St John’s Academy in Clifton, will be playing in the Premier League of academy teams against the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Eight-year-old Christian Cullerton has been signed up by Blackburn Rovers' academy.

Eight-year-old Christian Cullerton has been signed up by Blackburn Rovers' academy.

Christian signed his contract while on a trip with the club’s academy to Barcelona, where he played against the Spanish side’s under nines team.

“I felt sensational after my second game because they offered me a contract and I was absolutely amazed,” he said. “I could not believe it.”

Christian was invited to Blackburn’s final home game of the season against Wigan Athletic, when he and his team-mates had their photo taken on the pitch and met the players.

During the last 12 months he has been playing and training with Blackburn’s under eights academy team.

When the new season starts in August, he will train at least twice a week, playing on Sundays with the occasional Saturday or midweek game. From the end of September, he will attend a day release at the Blackburn Academy School.

Christian started at Clifton Rangers at the age of five. He said he will miss his team-mates and especially the club’s under sevens and eights coach Derwayne Mitchell.

He coached Christian’s under sevens team last season and the under eights team this season. They have not lost a league game during that time.

Jeff Cullerton, Christian’s dad, said: “His mum Ruth and I are really proud of Christian and the effort he puts into training, i ncluding running to get extra speed and stamina.

“Like I say to him every night before he goes to sleep, he’s the best son in the whole universe.”

Christian now hopes to follow in the footsteps of some very famous faces.

“My footballing heroes are Ronaldo, Messi and John Terry,” he said. “I picked John Terry because I want to be very determined like he is and make it as a professional footballer.”