Teen AFC Totton goalkeeper Josh Jeffries earns dream move to Southampton Football Club
TEENAGE AFC Totton shot-stopper Josh Jeffries has left the club having earned a dream move to Premier League outfit Southampton.
The 6ft 4in hot prospect has left the Southern League side with the blessing of its chiefs, having come through its youth set-up and making his Stags first-team debut as a second-half sub against Durley in the Southampton Senior Cup in January.
Jeffries impressed between the sticks during a trial match with Southampton U18s at AFC Totton’s Snows Stadium in February, which prompted the club to offer him an extended trial period.
Following that, Jeffries has now been given a full-time scholarship deal.
“It’s been surreal,” he said. “After joining Totton, the directors and management decided to put my name forward to Southampton. I played in a game against West Brom at Staplewood and trained with the first team, including some sessions with Willy Caballero which was a great experience.”
Josh’s deal requires him to continue his BTEC Sports Level 3 course through online learning, which he’ll be able to pursue to a higher academic level after the summer, with two days a week devoted to studying.
“It would be a dream to play for the Southampton first team, but my ambition is to progress and play professionally at the highest level I possibly can,” the young keeper said.
“Coming to Totton provided me with the spotlight to get noticed by Saints, so I’m grateful for everything the people at this club have done for me.”
The move comes just a month after midfielder Jordan Ngalo left the Snows Stadium to sign a professional contract with Vanarama National League club Aldershot Town in a deal that could benefit Totton financially through a sell-on fee and pre-season friendlies.
“While we aim to take this football club forward in its own right, we have to run it sustainably,” said Sam Davies, AFC Totton director of football.
“Nurturing young talent and helping players who have come down the football pyramid to find their way back up the divisions is also fundamental to what we’re about, as part of our strategy for longer-term progression.
“We’re delighted to help young players like Jordan and Josh make their way in the game and we wish them every success.”