A TEENAGE footballer has seen his hard work pay off after securing a two-year scholarship with Middlesbrough Football Club.

Josh Coburn, 16, was scouted while playing at Darlington and was invited to a six-week trial over the summer holidays last year.

The Richmond School pupil showed his mettle and following a demanding training programme over the last few months, when he played with the Middlesbrough Academy team, he was delighted to be offered the sought-after scholarship.

The two-year scholarship kicks off after Josh’s GCSEs. Its focus is football and Josh will have the opportunity to do a BTEC course alongside this which will allow him to secure enough points to give him the option to further his education at university.

However, Josh’s ambition is to achieve a professional contract and he hopes to be chosen to be a full-time player for Middlesbrough.

Josh said: “I am very, very happy about being selected by Middlesbrough. I’ve been following the Boro for some time so it’s a dream come true to be part of the under-18 squad. I’ve already scored 10 goals so far this season. My aim is to be selected as a professional player for the Middlesbrough first team in 2020.”

Josh will continue to play for Richmond School until he leaves, following his GCSEs in the summer.