SSFC Academy youngster Harvey Smith has been called up to the England Under-18 Schoolboys side for the upcoming Centenary Shield.
The son of Shields legend Barrie Smith, Harvey was part of the squad which reached the first round of the FA Youth Cup this season before bowing out to Chester.
Alongside his football in the Academy, Harvey plays in midfield for Whickham in Northern League Division One.
After impressing recently in the Durham Challenge Cup, Smith was named in the starting XI last Tuesday as the Lang Jacks defeated Newcastle Benfield 2-1.
It was the latest milestone for a teenager who is progressing rapidly and now has international recognition to show for it.
Ahead of linking up with England for the first time, we caught up with Harvey…
How did it feel to be selected by England Schoolboys, after all of your hard work in the Academy?
The feeling when I got selected was amazing, I had never felt anything like it before. I have worked non-stop since I first started playing football, putting hours of training in both on and off the pitch to create moments like this.
With Alfie Marriott being the first of the Academy players to be inducted into the first-team this season, are you hoping to impress to make the jump?
The last year-and-a-half being in the Academy has been great. Training every day is something I have always wanted to do, so to be finally doing that is amazing and has helped me push on to be a better player and person. Seeing one of my team-mates get an opportunity to be part of the first-team motivates me even more to hopefully be the next to impress and get an opportunity myself.
What did you have to do, to be selected for the England Schoolboys team?
The selection process for England Schoolboys was class. We had to do three trials to make the squad. All the trials ran brilliantly and all the coaches and staff around all three trials were amazing. The standard of the trials was very good, so to make the squad was an amazing achievement and a very special moment for me and my family.
How you think that playing for Whickham in the Northern League will help your growth in the more physical side of the game?
The step into men’s football has been a key part in my development. I first started playing men’s football when I was 16 and that just helped my game push onto the next level. I’m currently playing for Whickham FC, which is a fantastic club. I love my football there, and all of the lads are top class and have helped me improve and learn more as a player. The manager and coaches are class and have been a big help in my development. I have loved every minute at Whickham so far and can't fault anyone involved with the club.
What is your main goal while playing for England?
My main goal for the season ahead with England is to bring home the Shield and win something for my country, as that is something I have dreamed of from a young age.
Harvey’s first game for England Schoolboys could come on March 31th, when the youngsters are due to take on Scotland.