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XtraTime's Stars of the Future 2017: Football and Jago Thompson-Roberts

Create: 03/04/2017 - 12:53

Southampton have a proud tradition of developing British footballing talent and Bath's Beechen Cliff pupil Jago Thompson-Roberts is hoping to emulate Gareth Bale and Co after signing a two-year academy contract.

Thompson-Roberts, a defender who turns 13 in January,  has gained a solid grounding in the game with Bath & Wiltshire Boys, Warminster Highbury and Bath City Youth and is described as a level-headed, committed individual who will always go the extra mile in pursuit of his goals...
Jago says: “It is going really well at Southampton. The training feels more personal and we have individual targets All of the matches are a challenge. For example, Chelsea and a lot of the London sides are massive and all about power and pace, but then you might come up against a team that is small and skillful, like us, so you have to be adaptable. 
The training really pushes you to be the best you can be. I have been going to the park on my own and getting as many balls as I can from the house to practice long-range passing and work my touch. The way we play links in with Bath & Wiltshire Boys (BWB). The philosophy of the district team is developing players who are good technically and tactically. I have also been on a few tours with them and learned a lot about resilience and aspiration. The activities we do help us to bond as a team and develop as a person as well as a footballer.
I’ve always had a good reading of the game and like playing at the back. In terms of players I look up to, it’s inspiring to see how Sergio Ramos puts his body on the line and I also admire Virgil van Dijk and the centre backs at Southampton having watched them live. I also think Steven Gerrard is a class act and I love his passing ability. I have looked up to him and read his autobiography and was struck by his quality and the amount he practised as a child.”
Main achievements: 2016 Signs two-year contract with Southampton, wins BWB’s prestigious Ivor Powell Trophy for 2015-16; 2014 Wiltshire Quad Kids Athletics champion, helps BWB reach semi-finals at Gothia World Youth Cup in Sweden; 2013 Joins Bath City and plays up an age group 2012 Earns a place with the BWB district squad at eight and captains his age group

About Author

Neil Beck
Neil edited XtraTime magazine across all 11 issues from September 2015 to the spring of 2017. He is a vastly-experienced West Country sports journalist who cut his teeth at the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald before moving on to become head of sport at Bath News & Media.