WILL Hall is a potential football star of the future – and a testimony to the adage that you can overcome adversity and succeed if you put your mind to it.
Will was at the Chelsea ETC for two years before his family moved to the Isle of Wight where he was contacted by Bournemouth and asked to join their development side.
Suffering occasional short memory loss or absence, albeit just seconds, it suddenly developed into full on epilepsy without warning with two fits in a week and another a couple of weeks later.
Apart from the scariness of it, the diagnosis for him was devastating. He was told to avoid anything that involved contact or risk including cycling, skateboarding etc which he loved and couldn’t swim or even bathe unsupervised.
Football stopped overnight and he tried various medicines. The diagnosis was 5-10 years on medication and potentially life.
Because his mum is a GP the Halls found a consultant who was far more forward thinking and said that some new drugs could reduce it to 2-5 years. Also that with right dose he could do sport again, if careful.
Will read about all the sports people competing with the condition and became determined to stay fit and well.
The medication stopped the effects and weeks went into months and he started running again for his school and playing for an island soccer academy in the junior premier league. He stayed fit, didn’t put on weight and started to grow very quickly!
He was then seen by Portsmouth in a match and a local scout took him under his wing knowing the background and the family started going to their development centre every week with another boy who is a couple of years older and went into their academy.
At the end of last season (2016) Will was offered a trial after some impressive matches with Portsmouth but being the end of the season only got two-and-a-half weeks of the usual six and despite doing well was advised the group were going into the next band and would be under a different coach and he would have to trial again this season.
Will returned to the development programme in September and while the praise was good and he was training with the 14-15s despite being 12 he was told the academy was full; too many boys had been kept on and no trial would be available before end of this year again.
With advice from the scout, he went on a trial and got into Portsmouth’s under 13s junior premier league side whom he now plays with every week and trains with a few other island boys, and has since been asked to play up a year. That has built his experience of playing against teams right across the south.
At one of those games against Bournemouth academy he was watched by someone from MLTNC who called and invited him over for a trial with their academy which he did in November. He was successful and offered a place there too so now trains twice a week with the Matthew Le Tissier academy and still trains and plays for Pompey JPL.
So begins Will’s quest to become a professional footballer, and if he doesn’t make it he wants to be a sports commentator or writer and is constantly studying and watching old and new items about football and athletics especially.
Given the determination he has shown in the face of adversity already, we have no doubts he will be a success in whatever he decides to do. Hopefully, that is as a professional footballer – his dream.
Follow his fortunes with us here on Zapsportz….EXCLUSIVE!