Braintree land international keeper
LOCAL SOCCER: Braintree Town today boosted their squad – by signing a current international!But all is not quite what it seems, with new boy Jamie Waite only agreeing a deal to remain at Cressing Road until the end of the season.
By Mel Henderson
BRAINTREE Town today boosted their squad – by signing a current international!
But all is not quite what it seems, with new boy Jamie Waite only agreeing a deal to remain at Cressing Road until the end of the season.
The promising young goalkeeper can claim to be a full international after turning out for Thailand earlier this year when he was only 15.
Waite, who will be 17 in February, is the second youngest player ever to win senior honours after his
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surprise call-up by ex-Aston Villa and England striker Peter Withe, who has just agreed to stay on as the Thai national coach.
The reason he has only signed with the Ryman League club until the end of the season is that he looks likely to be heading north to join First Division outfit Burnley.
He said: "I went to Turf Moor on a ten-day trial and there's an offer to return in the summer. They have first option on me.
"I also went to Arsenal and did well, but they thought I wasn't tall enough for my age. I'm about 5ft 11ins and they said they would monitor my progress.
"I think I am likely to take up Burnley's offer. It's a good opportunity for me and I can still continue my education up there.
"I am in the first year of a two-year sports science course at Suffolk College and I could do the second year at Preston College."
The Coddenham youngster, whose mother is from Thailand, will captain the country in an under-19 tournament being staged in February and also involving the top talent from Japan, South Korea and China.
His sudden elevation to senior international status has had other spin-offs for the up-and-coming keeper, who has also turned out for Ipswich Wanderers.
He has a sponsorship deal with sports giants adidas that means he won't have to buy any of his own boots, gloves and other necessary equipment.
Most of all, though, Waite wants to make the grade and believes joining Braintree – his first outing is likely to be on Tuesday – will benefit him in the long term.