Croy’s Joshua Rae offered place with Atletico Madrid

A CROY family is now wrestling with one of the biggest decisions of their lives after being offered a massive opportunity.

12-year-old Joshua Rae is obviously a gifted goalkeeper. Not only is he a current member of Hamilton Academical under 15s and a Scotland under 14 player, a recent holiday in Benidorm could prove life-changing.

During the holiday, Joshua’s exceptional skills and physical attributes - he is already an imposing 6ft 1 - were noticed and he was invited to play in a local U14s tournament - where he was spotted by an Atletico Madrid scout, who invited him for a trial and a spot in a pro youth team which went on to win a Glasgow Cup.

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Now he and his father have returned home - having negotiated an invitation for Josh move to Madrid on a full-time basis.

Mum Natalie said: “As a family we are thinking about this very carefully. We want Josh to finish out the season at Hamilton as he is under contract but that is for Atletico and Hamilton to discuss.

“It really is hard to take in what is going on, it’s quite surreal. I don’t know what all the fuss is about, I don’t even like football though I’ve always been aware that Josh has a talent for it. He has ran about with a ball since he’s been a very young child.”

Football has always been a big part of Josh’s life, and he currently attends Graeme High in Falkirk which is a SFA performance school.

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“We don’t know what to do at the moment,” added Natalie. “This is such a big thing to ask a 12-year-old to move to another country. We’re not rushing into anything, we want to make sure we choose the option that is best for Josh.”

Joshua added: “I don’t really know what to do right now but don’t want to go right away, I want to stay in Scotland another year. Even if I was not currently under contract at Hamilton I would want to stay at home a bit longer.”

So it is uncertain yet whether Joshua will gamble on this offer, but it is obvious that this young man could well be facing a bright future between the sticks in the sport for which he has been blessed with so much talent.

Watch this space for more news of this promising youngster.