Curtis let in 23 goals in his first game, now he’s joined Man City
Last updated at 09:06, Wednesday, 18 July 2012
GOALKEEPER Curtis Anderson is living every 11-year-old’s dream after signing for Manchester City. PAUL TURNER discovers how the youngster came to be such a hot footballing property.
£15,000 is a lot of money in anyone’s book, but for a football club to pay that for an 11-year-old is phenomenal.
In the grander scheme of things, the cash is a drop in the ocean for mega-rich Manchester City, but it demonstrates great faith in the talent Curtis Anderson holds in his two hands.
The talented goalkeeper starts his first full season with the Premier League champions in August, having been signed from Blackpool on a five-year deal.
There was much negotiation between City and the Tangerines over Curtis’s move – with the fee of around £15,000 supplemented by add-ons relating to his future performance and development.
It is all a far cry from Longlands Park, where the youngster started off as a five-year-old with Crooklands Casuals, having gone along with his friends from Yarlside School.
It was here – with dad Terry, a stalwart at Cassies, his coach – he found himself in goal for the first time, on a road which would lead him to Manchester City, but which started in a far from perfect fashion.
“Curtis’s first game for Crooklands was a 23-0 hiding off an outstanding Furness Rovers side, which could have been the end of his time as a goalkeeper after only one match,” recalls Terry.
“Curtis didn’t think that way though and he said ‘at least I was kept busy, unlike the Furness Rovers keeper’.”
Terry added: “During Curtis’s final year at Crooklands, at an away game against Furness Rovers, he was spotted by a Blackpool scout.
“They had already pretty much signed up half the Furness Rovers squad for Blackpool and this was arguably Curtis’s best performance of that season.
“The scout said afterwards ‘that’s the best performance that he had ever seen from an eight-year-old’.
“I remember Curtis made save after save after save.
“He trialled at Blackpool for two weeks and was offered a contract.”
Curtis’s exploits for Blackpool that first year earned him a second contract and it was while playing for the under-10s that he started to garner attention from other clubs.
Scouts regularly watched him as he gained valuable experience – including playing in the Welsh Super Cup at Cardiff against teams from America and Africa.
Curtis’s third season with the Tangerines saw him offered a contract that would take him through to under-16s level and the deal was done.
It was then that the interest from Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool became apparent, and Terry says: “The scouts who had watched Curtis were now starting to make enquiries and the Blackpool head of youth contacted me with the amazing news Man City, Man United and Liverpool had all agreed an initial fee with Blackpool.
“Curtis went on a two-week trial at Man City and performed really well in training and the games.
“He played in a Premiership tournament against Chelsea, Liverpool and Aston Villa and again did really well, so Man City decided they wanted him.
“He went down to Liverpool for a two-week trial as well. Being a lifelong Liverpool fan, it was an amazing experience.
“He was coached by Jon Achtenberg (Pepe Reina’s coach) who is a fantastic coach and is a character to say the least.
“He only played one game, which was a bit disappointing, and they already had two goalkeepers, so it wasn’t an option.”
He adds: “I always had a sneaky feeling that he would be a professional goalkeeper and I still think he will be.
“It’s up to him now how far he wants to push it. I’ve done as much as I can, we’ve moved house to be part of it, so he is at the best place.
“He’s going to get the coaching and it is just up to him now how he applies that and how far he wants to go.
“I do believe he will be a professional footballer – it’s just what level he gets to be at.
“If he keeps his head down and works hard, I would say he will be all right – he will get to a high level.
“He will train at one of the best footballing academies in the country and travel all over Europe, playing against the best Europe has to offer.”
Curtis himself has big ambitions for his future and City would seem to be the perfect place to realise them.
The top shot stopper hopes one day to emulate current Blues number one Joe Hart in playing for England, but knows there is a lot of hard work ahead.
He says: “I want to be a professional footballer one day, but I’ll have to try very hard and practice.
“I would like to play for England. When I’m 14 or 15 I want to play for the under-16s and then go on to the first team as well.”
Curtis adds: “When we have our presentation nights, the first team might come down and see them.
“They just won the Premier League, the best competition in the world, so it’s great to see them.”
Curtis may only meet the stars of the Man City team at the moment, but if all goes to plan, he may be one of them in the future.
First published at 16:06, Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
welcome curtis to manchester city fc the best acadamy in the world and a fantastic football club try to learn as much as you can young man stay humble and modest and one day you could be like frank swift bert trautman joe corrigan tony cotan and of course joe hart best of luck curtis
Great Curtis I wish you all the luck in your career. I remember another Barrow boy who was at Blackpool and signed for the then great team Liverpool and became a regular player and captain for them and England. EMLYN HUGHES!sadly he has passed away.A lot of locals slagged him off but he made it and more,so Curtis stick in and I am sure you will make it. Lots of luck.