FOLLOWING in the footsteps of his father a 15-year-old, from Hereford, has begun his journey to become a professional footballer after being offered a two-year scholarship playing for Birmingham City.

Jordan James has been chasing the dream of playing professional football since he was young and was introduced to the sport at an early age.

He is the son of former Hereford United centre-back Tony James and used to watch his dad play at Edgar Street as a youngster.

“He has always liked playing football, ” said father Tony James.

“He was always at matches but I don’t know if he took much of it in. As he got older he was watching more football and we used to play and stuff.

“I might have led him down that path as he is my first boy so we spent a lot of time kicking the ball around the garden and he took to it.

“He has been at Birmingham City for seven years so it has been a long journey for him.

“It has taken a lot of time and effort from everybody with his training and stuff. At times we travel to Birmingham five nights a week so it has been a big commitment for the whole family to travel here and there.

“Every weekend he is playing against another academy team and we have been to most of the academy training grounds in the country over years.

“We have been to some amazing training grounds like Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. He desperately wants to be a footballer.”

Jordan has also been scouted for the Wales international team, as his father was born in Abergavenny.

Despite his clear talent on the pitch the coaches at Birmingham are undecided which position is best for Jordan yet.

Tony added: “They still don’t know what position he will end up playing. He likes playing centre midfield or wide right, so it looks like being one or the other but we’re not totally sure yet.

“It’s good that he has not been pigeonholed really.”

Jordan will be moving to live in Birmingham and become a full-time footballer after he has completed his studies as Whitecross School.

“Whitecross School have been so supportive all the way with his football,” added his father.

“They deserve a lot of credit for allowing him to train.

"He is quite capable academically and Birmingham have told him about his apprenticeship early so he can knuckle down and concentrate on his studies now.

“Once his final year is over at school and he has done his GCSEs he will be moving to Birmingham for two years and training full-time at the football club.

“He is very fortunate but has worked hard and given himself a chance.”