LOS ANGELES TEEN SIGNS WITH ENGLISH SOCCER LEGENDS ASTON VILLA F.C.
July 22, 2016
Los Angeles teen Callum Blu Stretch this week signed a prestigious two-year contract with English soccer club Aston Villa F.C.
Stretch, aged 16, of Encino, California, will play for Aston Villa's U18 team in the season beginning this fall at the famed club in the Midlands town of Birmingham. “This is a very exciting opportunity for me, and I am honored to be a part of Aston Villa’s great history and heritage,” said Stretch, who at 6ft 3in and 175 lbs plays midfield and defense.
Aston Villa is one of the world’s oldest soccer clubs, founded in 1874, and in 1888 was among the founding teams in the English Football League and has won both the English First Division Championship and the Football Association Cup seven times. “Any success I have I owe to hard work and to my parents, who pushed me to excel and always believed in me,” said Stretch, who joined the L.A. Galaxy Youth Academy in 2013, and then recently played for FC Golden State West.
Stretch who holds dual citizenship worked very hard with his FC Golden State West coach Ebrahim Madha, “ We spent a lot of time last year developing my defensive and attacking play which really helped me with the trials in England, ” said Stretch, who first went to England two years ago at the age of 14 for trials at Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield Wednesday, impressing the coaching staff, who asked him to return when he was ready to move to England full-time. Stretch had expected to be a rising senior in September at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, but instead moved to the U.K. this summer after six weeks of trials and receiving the offer from Aston Villa.
Stretch was also recently selected for the U.S. National U18 team that played in the Open Nordic Cup in Sweden, earning his first three National caps against Iceland, Finland, and the Faroe Islands.