James Trafford is hoping to follow in a long line of goalkeepers who have made their breakthroughs at Accrington Stanley.
The 18-year-old has signed from Manchester City on a season-long loan and was on the bench for their Champions League semi-final clash.
With goalies like Rob Elliot, Darren Randolph, Marcus Bettinelli and, last season, Nathan Baxter making an impression at the Reds, he has big boots to fill at the Wham but he is excited at the chance to get some League One games under his belt.
James, from Cockermouth, started his career at Carlisle.
“I initially wanted to be a midfielder but I probably wasn’t good enough. I enjoyed running around though! My dad always thought I would make a good goalie so once day I went in goal at Carlisle and really enjoyed it.
“I moved from Carlisle to Man City when I was 12, I have been at Man City for six years through all the age groups and I have learnt a lot.
“It was a really big jump at the time, from Carlisle to Man City, I was young, I was in Year 7 but I took it in my stride.
“This season I was lucky enough to progress into the first team quite a lot. I have been involved with them throughout the season, I was involved in the Champions League, I was on the bench for the semi-final so there have been lots of good experiences.
“You learn a lot as a person when you go to a club like City, going to different schools, and as a goalkeeper, training with the best players in the world so you have to match their levels.”
After a season with City’s first team squad, James is hoping to gain some valuable experience at Stanley.
“Me and the goalkeeping staff at City have always felt this was the right time to come out on loan after my second year as a scholar.
“I am really excited. I used to play against Accrington at Carlisle and you always look out for them in the league.
“I have already been training with Toby Savin, Liam Isherwood and the two Academy keepers and there is a lot of energy in the group.
“Toby and Liam are two really good lads and it’s competitive in training. We will all be pushing for the same shirt but we are friends.
“It will be a lot different from academy and first team football at City but I can’t wait as it will make me better as a person and as a goalkeeper.”
The full first interview video with James Trafford is available to watch on the club's official YouTube channel, CLICK HERE to find out more!