VIDEO: Porthill Rangers star Connor Sargeant signs for Stoke City- aged 9
HOTSHOT striker Connor Sargeant has signed for Stoke City after scoring more goals in 12 games than the entire first team this season.
The prolific nine-year-old has been on fire for his club, Porthill Rangers, who lie three points clear at the top of the Potteries Mini Soccer League Under 10s Division Two.
Stoke fan Connor – who models his skills on Real Madrid hero Cristiano Ronaldo, but whose favourite player is Peter Crouch – was invited to watch his heroes train at Clayton Wood Training Ground yesterday – and is pictured on the front page with his hero.
He met all the players and was even given the chance to show off his skills to Stoke City boss Tony Pulis. Now the talented forward is set to join the Potters next year after he caught the eye of the club's academy.
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Mr Pulis said: "He really looked the business to me and with a scoring record like his I will have to think about signing him up when the next transfer window opens."
Mini Soccer League teams play two half-hour matches against the same opponent each week.
Connor scored one goal in each of the first two weeks of the season, then hit five in week three, 11 in the following week's games and eight in each of the two weeks after that. He has scored 47 goals in total for the team.
It took him just 12 matches to beat Stoke's season tally of 33.
Connor, a pupil at Churchfields Primary School in Chesterton – where he has hit four goals in two games for the school football team – said: "Meeting the Stoke players was brilliant.
"My favourite players are Steven Nzonzi and Peter Crouch. I think Crouchy is amazing. I got all the players to sign my Stoke top. When I'm playing I try to copy Ronaldo's skills."
Connor's mum Sarah Sargeant, aged 31 – who lives with Connor and his sisters Bethany, aged 13, and four-year-old Charlie-Mae, at Brittain Avenue, Chesterton, said: "Connor was completely overwhelmed by meeting the Stoke players.
"He's a big Stoke fan. Port Vale have tried to sign him four times, but he's turned them down each time.
"Porthill Rangers are doing really well at the moment. It is not just Connor, they are all really good.
"This is his second year at Porthill and he loves it. He says that's his team and that's where he wants to play. His team-mates are such a good bunch of lads. In his first season he scored 31 goals, but he missed quite a few games because he got injured. He had an accident on a trampoline and a metal bar went through his leg.
"Connor is very skilful and I get parents coming up all the time and comparing him with Ronaldo, but then other parents will say, 'I hoped he wasn't playing this week'.
"Connor lives for football, he loves it. When he is not playing the game he is on the computer playing football games."
While he was at Stoke City's training ground, Connor was signed up by the club's academy and will officially team up with the club in July.
Sarah added: "Connor is still on a high from it all, he can't believe it. Stoke were fantastic with him."
How Connor compares to Stoke City's strikers...
On as a sub: 12
On as a sub: 7
On as a sub: 1
On as a sub: 16