WHEN it comes to realising dreams on the football field, nothing gets past young Abigail Hunt.
The nine-year-old goalkeeper from Lowton has made such an impression stopping the shots, she has been signed by Manchester United.
It’s very encouraging but I’m also conscious this is a different level, although I’m sure she will do very wellDavid Hunt
Since the age of seven Abigail has been the last line of defence for the football teams she has played for and as she prepares to make her debut for the team she has always dreamed of playing for, dad David is bracing himself for his daughter ‘stepping up a level.
“She’s so focused and has such a great attitude,” he said.
“It’s very encouraging but I’m also conscious this is a different level, although I’m sure she will do very well.
“It’s a massive step up and so far training has been pretty tough but she is doing everything and more to make sure she makes a success of it.”
The St Luke’s Primary School pupil has been playing football since she was seven.
Starting out at Golborne Predators, Abigail played in a number of teams, from Leigh Genesis at under-8s level to a spell at Wigan Athletic girls. But the road to one of the world’s most famous football teams didn’t start smoothly, as David recalls: “In her first game she conceded 13 goals!
“But that didn’t put her off and she persisted, worked hard, and it is paying off.”
She was eventually recommended to Everton’s development section and they signed her as a development player.
At this point, she joined Leigh Genesis’ under-10s girls team before being invited to try out at Man United’s foundation section.
“All the family are thrilled,” said David after a successful trial meant she signed as a Manchester United player.
“When she was seven she sent a letter to Santa saying she wanted to play for England and Man United. Now she has got one of those two.”
She is now waiting for her first match, against West Brom on August 12, and dad, mum Deborah and big brother Matthew are thrilled.
“She loves that her big brother supports her,” said David. “She trains three times a week with Man United, has private lessons and plays at home as well – you can’t put her off!”