A 12-year-old goalkeeper from Croy is this week experiencing what would be any young footballer’s dream – training with Athletico Madrid.
Joshua Rae plays for Hamilton Accies under 15 team and is in the Scotland under 14 regional squad.
While holidaying in Benidorm this year, Joshua and his dad – who drives the Cumbernauld United Original Supporters’ Club bus to away matches – were kicking a ball about in a local park. Two Jordanians approached them and explained that a team from Jordan who were taking part in an under 14s tournament in the resort were short of a goalkeeper and would Joshua like to play for them.
The 6ft 1in Croy youngster, played six games for the under 14s and two for the under 17s. In the final under-14s game Joshua scored two goals, one from a kick the length of the park and the other a free-kick. The match went to penalties and Joshua saved three spot-kicks and then scored the winning penalty.
After the match an Athletico Madrid scout asked Joshua if he was interested in going to Madrid for a trial. He also explained that Elite Madrid would be coming to Scotland to take part in the Glasgow Cup in August and asked if Joshua would like to play for them in the tournament.
Madrid defeated Celtic Boys’ Club on the way to the final where they met Airdrie Pro Youth, drawing 0-0 then winning the Cup 3-2 on penalties - Joshua saving the vital penalty.
The Croy youngster, who attends Graeme High School in Falkirk, an SFA performance school, also scored two goals in the tournament from free-kicks.
Joshua and dad Robert travelled to Madrid last Monday where Joshua will be training with Athletico Madrid for two weeks.