Goalkeeper Ciaran Gibson, who was on the bench for Halifax Town in their games against Eastwood Town and Lancaster City in early October, has been placed on stand by for the English Schools under 18 FA national team following a successful series of trials.
The 17-year-old Leeds-based keeper, who is coached by the former Bradford City shot stopper Paul Brown at his goalkeeping school based at Brighouse Town, was originally invited to the ESFA Repton summer training camp and then travelled to Blackburn in October for the first batch of trials for the English Schools FA under 18 team.
Last month Gibson played for the North of England Schools under 18 team against the Midlands FA team at Belper FC and last week he trained at the Lilleshall National Sports Centre with three other keepers and the rest of the 34 player squad.
Gibson is no stranger to international football having previously trained with the Northern Ireland under 17 national squad at Lilleshall under coach Billy Stewart.
He qualifies for Northern Ireland as his father, Alan, who also has a goalkeeping history, was born in County Tyrone. And the goalkeeping agility runs wider in the Gibson family with his two uncles Keith and David having being involved with Northern Ireland Schoolboys and the Irish League Clubs Coleraine, Dungannon Swifts, Coagh United and Cookstown United.
“Through my parents I qualify to play for the Northern Ireland, England or Jamaican national football teams,” said Gibson.
“And for schoolboy internationals my selection is based on the country I go to school in which is England.
“I’m very pleased to have had the opportunity with both the Northern Ireland under 17 national squad and the English Schools FA team.
“And I would love to be involved with both in the future”.
Gibson made his senior debut aged 16 years and two months in the 2010/11 season for Northern Counties East League outfit Yorkshire Amateur.
He was man of the match in his third game as he helped secure a 1-1 draw at AFC Emley.
Gibson, who attends Roundhay High School, has also played for the West Yorkshire Schools FA under 18 representative team this season.
He is fortunate to be backed by several generous sponsors as he bids to become a professional keeper.
Brown has provided regular coaching and inspiration in the lead up to the various stages of the ESFA trials this season.
Bingley-based 1gksPRO gloves have sponsored him for the current season and the Leeds car repair garage Motor Marque help with his overall football expenses.