October 4, 2019
TWO Dyke House Academy students are to team up together for the county this month.
Year 11 goalkeeper Joe Snelson and defender Thomas Lea have been named in the Cleveland Schools’ FA squad.
The 15-year-olds, who are working towards their GCSEs over the next nine months, are looking forward to figuring against North Yorkshire – provided Snelson can overcome a broken finger.
The former Holy Trinity pupil is a new addition to the Cleveland squad having made strong progress in recent months. His performances for Stockton Saints have seen him join Darlington FC too.
Snelson, who is also a fast runner, said: “I feel like I have been recognised for my performances for school and my other clubs. I have trained a lot more recently and that has helped me become more vocal behind the defence.
“I have played quite well. Even though I can also play out, I have decided to concentrate on playing in goal. I enjoy it more in there. I have always liked throwing myself around between the posts, ever since I was taken to Seaton by my dad. I’d love to be a footballer when I leave Dyke House. I go to Sunderland on a Friday night to train as well as training with Darlington’s Under-18s. If I don’t end up going down the football route I would like to go into biology, I like the human body, and I don’t mind chemistry, potentially working in sports science.”
Both boys realise how important it is to study for their exams this academic year, and playing football provides a nice break. Lea has been involved with the Cleveland Schools’ squad since Year 8 and he has captained the team on a few occasions. The former Fens primary pupil plays for Stockton Town and he is now involved with Hartlepool United’s elite academy, which could develop into a scholarship when he leaves school.
Lea said: “At Stockton last season we went unbeaten, won the league, and since then I feel I have developed because I have worked every day. It is showing because I have got my chance at Pools. That would be my dream, to get a scholarship there, because I go every game to watch. I hope to get a scholarship at the end of the year, if not I want to go into construction. I got a taste for that area when I was doing some work during the six weeks holidays. I enjoyed it. I just had my mock exams and hopefully things are going well.”