A SHOOTING star has been tipped for the top after impressing coaches at a North-East college football academy.

Former Haughton Academy pupil and Darlington College student Mason Hurworth, 16, has attracted the attention of several top flight clubs after scoring nine goals in competitive matches since the start of September.

Central midfielder Mason who is part of the Martin Gray Football Academy (MGFA), a unique partnership between football and education at Darlington College, is captain for Darlington Town U18s and has been selected for the Durham County U18 squad.

The former Haughton Academy pupil played a year above his age group in both junior and secondary school football teams.

Haughton Academy PE teacher Liam Taylor said: “Mason was a great all-rounder who represented our school in a variety of sports helping increase his sporting abilities, his team work and his leadership skills in a captain’s role.

“Not only did he thrive on the sports field, he was also successful as an academy prefect and excelled academically, passing all of his GCSEs.

“He is a real inspiration to our current pupils and is doing extremely well from his decision to join the MGFA at Darlington College.”

“I love football, its all I’ve ever wanted to do”, said Manchester United fan Mason.

“I’ve never even had a back up career, I’m purely focused on doing my absolute best to make it as a professional player.

“I know it’s going to be hard but I just want to be able to play at the highest standard possible.”