Leeds United have signed a star in the making from Westville House School in Ilkley.

Sami Pattinson, aged eight, is one of 17 boys who have signed for the Leeds United Academy under-nine squad for next season.

Sami was first spotted by Steve Potter, one of the Westville House football coaches, who then referred him to Leeds for a trial and assessment. Terry Potter (no relation), is head of recruitment at the Academy and is always on the lookout for talented young players.

Sami will have to undertake a rigorous training programme, travel all over the country to play matches against top league clubs and keep up with his school work – no mean feat by anyone’s standards – but Sami is excited by the prospect and is keen to work hard to develop his ability.

Rosey James, head teacher at Westville House School, said: “We are all delighted by the success that Sami is having with his football talent. We recognise the enormous dedication and skill that he displays. At Westville we are keen to bring out whatever talent an individual child has and to encourage them to be the best they can. We design the curriculum to fit around the commitments that any child has in order to help them realise their potential.”