Dream comes true

MOST boys dream of playing football for a living.

And for Amble teenager Nathan Buddle, that dream is set to come true, after being offered a professional contract at Hartlepool United.

The League One side has moved to secure the services of the talented central defender who has come through the club’s youth ranks – leaving the 18-year-old ‘over the moon’.

It is fitting reward for the determined youngster who has also appeared for Pools’ Reserves.

“All my hard work has paid off,” said Buddle, a former Coquet High School pupil.

“All I have ever wanted to do is play football and I have finally got what I want. I am delighted, it is a dream come true.

“I will sign the contract – 100 per cent.”

Buddle was offered the Victoria Park deal as he was coming to the end of his final year as a youth-team scholar at Pools.

And he is determined to grasp the opportunity with both hands.

“I really do want to push into the first team,” he said.

“I know it won’t be easy but I have already started working hard.

“My main target is to play well in the Reserves and then break into the first-team squad.”

Buddle’s contract offer comes just under a year after fellow Amble lad and friend Luke James put pen to paper on a pro-deal at Pools.

Seventeen-year-old James has since broken into the first team with a bang, attracting the attention of Premier League and Championship scouts, as well as scoring a scorcher against Rochdale, which was voted by United fans as the goal of the season for 2011/12.

Buddle is hoping he can follow James’ rapid rise.

“I have seen how well he has done and I hope to achieve what he has and follow in his footsteps,” he said.

“He is an inspiration to me and I do aspire to be where he is at the moment.”

Hot-prospect Buddle, who was part of Newcastle United’s Academy in his younger days, was one of five Pools’ youth-team players to be offered a pro-deal recently, coming on the back of the club securing the services of James.

A club spokesman said: “Nathan is a tall, powerful central defender who is combative in the air but also extremely composed when in possession.

“He also has a reputation for being a leader when on the pitch, where his determined attitude can rub off on those around him.

“Having excelled in the Youth Team he also played regularly for the Reserves last season where he never looked out of place and did enough to earn the offer of a first professional contract.”

Buddle’s family have said they are delighted and proud of him, adding that his commitment to the sport has helped him achieve his goal.