Former Blythe High School pupil Ben has his first team debut at Forest
BLYTHE High School is gaining a reputation for producing top-class professional footballers.
Following in the footsteps of ex-student Ollie Shenton, one of Stoke City’s rising young stars, is Nottingham Forest’s Ben Brereton.
Eighteen year old Ben, like Ollie, 19, is a product of Stoke City’s academy, but was released by the Potters in 2015.
It could be a decision that Stoke could live to regret, because the young striker has since established himself as one of the hottest prospects in the Championship, attracting interest from top Premiership clubs Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal.
Ben was given his first team debut by Forest interim manager Gary Brazil at the start of the year, coming on as a 76th minute substitute in the team’s 2-0 win at Leeds United on January 25.
The previous month Brereton had been rewarded with a new deal by Forest, after scoring 14 goals in 19 games for the club’s Under-23’s.
Since launching onto the Championship scene at Elland Road, the young man Stoke deemed surplus to requirements has never looked back.
The month of March will go down in history as one of the most memorable in Ben’s football career.
Not only was he called up to the England Under-19 squad, making his international debut
as a substitute against Belarus, he was also nominated for the Championship Apprentice of the Year Award,.
Ben collected the prestigious award during a glittering ceremony at London’s Hilton Park Hotel, in Park Lane, on April 9.
New Forest boss Mark Warburton, the former Glasgow Rangers manager, described Ben as “outstanding,” after a particularly impressive performance by the yongster against Huddersfield Town.
“To hear him (Warburton) say that was unbelievable,” said Ben.
Ben has also earned equally growing praise from his team mates – none more so than from the club’s senior goalkeeper Stephen Henderson.
“Ben has been superb. He can go right to the top,” he said
Henderson has also been impressed Ben’s response to the many plaudits which have come his way.
“He’s a top lad, he is no big time Charlie. There are lots of scouts looking at him,” he added.
“I’ve got to keep working hard and see where it gets me,” is Ben’s grounded response.
Ben has been called up by England Under-19’s again for a training camp in Spain this week ahead of this summer’s European Championships.
The group will also attend training camps at St George’s Park near Burton-on-Trent in preparation for next month’s tournament in Georgia.
England begin the tournament against Bulgaria on Monday, July 3, before facing the Netherlands (July 6) and Germany (July 9).
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