A teenager once told by football coaches he was the “worst player” they’d seen has taken a big step towards fulfilling his childhood dream of becoming a professional.
From the age of three, Lucas Reed had set his heart on one day making it in the game.
But despite being scouted by a number of clubs as a youngster he was released from each one, at one stage being told by coaches he was the “worst” player they had ever seen.
However, the 16-year-old has bounced back to not only represent Scotland Under-16s in the Victory Shield Cup, but to also impress Middlesbrough.
Lucas has now joined the Championship club on a two-year deal.
Lucas, from Mill Lane, Whitburn, said: “I was six months into my first year of training at Middlesbrough when they called me in. I thought they were going to release me.
I have been through so many challenges and being told by a coach that I should give up football as I couldn’t do anything and that I was the “worst” player they’d ever seen has never left me.Lucas Reed
“I have been through so many challenges and being told by a coach that I should give up football as I couldn’t do anything and that I was the “worst” player they’d ever seen has never left me.
“When it happened I was so close to giving up, so when they called me in, I thought that was it, they were going to release me.
“But when they handed me a contract for two years, it was just amazing. It was just a huge relief they weren’t going to release me.”
The Houghton Kepier Academy school pupil impressed Boro coaches, despite having only recently recovered from a badly broken leg.
Lucas, who plays as a centre midfielder but can also play left-back and centre-half, will join the club full-time from June after he completes his GCSEs.
He hopes following the two-year period he will be offered a further contract, which could then see him compete for a place in the first team.
Lucas added: “There was a time when I thought about giving up, but what was said to me has really spurred me on.
“When I think about all the stress and the challenges I’ve been through, it just makes me want to show those coaches who didn’t believe in me just what they are missing.”