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Unforgettable experience for Charlie
10:15am Thursday 18th September 2008 in Youth football
A YOUNG footballing star has triumphed in Paris after playing for Team England and achieving the country’s highest ranking in five years.
Hedingham School pupil Charlie Turner took part in the world’s largest football tournament for children, beating 25 other countries including Argentina, Spain and Italy to achieve 15th place for the England squad.
The 12-year-old goalkeeper, of Spring Way, Sible Hedingham, was one of 14 boys coached by former England, Liverpool and Spurs star Jamie Redknapp in preparation for the Danone Nations Cup (DNC).
The boys competed against 40 countries earlier this month in the Parc des Princes Stadium after being selected from thousands of other young hopefuls to represent their country.
Charlie, who used to play for Halstead Town Blues, said: “It has been an amazing experience and I enjoyed every minute of being in Paris.
“Getting to play football at the Parc de Princes against other teams from all over the world and being coached by Jamie Redknapp has been brilliant and something I’ll never forget.”
Jamie Redknapp said: “I am delighted with the result.
“Charlie worked really hard and did his country proud, but most importantly, he enjoyed himself.
“Getting to play football at that age on an international level has been an amazing experience for him.
“This is a brilliant initiative and one which has opened my eyes to just how much talent there is out there.
“It is grassroots football at its best and it has been refreshing to see children playing the game in the right spirit, with bundles of determination, skill and a competitive edge.”
Much to the delight of the 25,000-strong crowd in the stadium, it was the French team who took home the cup after beating Russia.
Team England received a trophy and were thrilled with their ranking which was the highest since 2003, when they gained seventh place.