Leeds United’s future in safe hands with Craig

Craig Thordarson, right, signs his Academy contract with Leeds United goalkeeping coach Lee Kelsey
Craig Thordarson, right, signs his Academy contract with Leeds United goalkeeping coach Lee Kelsey

Thirteen-year-old goalkeeper Craig Thordarson is making a big impression since joining the Leeds United Academy earlier this year.

The Scalby School pupil has kept a clean sheet in every league game he has played for the Leeds under-13s team since signing a contract in January, with two keepers in the side they play a half each.

Proud dad Gary said: “The Leeds side lost 3-1 to Liverpool in his first game, but as he came on at half-time with them 3-0 down so he kept a clean sheet then and he has done so in every game since.

“His Academy team played in a tournament at Nottingham Forest over the weekend, and they won it after securing a 2-0 win against Wigan a 1-0 victory against the hosts and a hard-earned 2-1 success over Huddersfield Town.

“He was the only keeper selected for this tournament, and they now go on to the next stage of the competition, which will be played at St George’s Park, Burton.”

The former Newby & Scalby pupil will be in action in the league this Sunday when his Leeds side take on Barnsley.

Craig, who also plays for Scalby CC juniors, added: “I go to Leeds’ training base at Thorp Arch all day every Tuesday on a day release from Scalby School. I also go over there on Thursday evening for three hours of training as well as the Saturday morning pre-match training and tactics and the games themselves on Sundays.

“I support Chelsea but it is a great experience to be at Leeds United Academy, the other week we came in from training and El-Hadji Diouf came past and started talking to me about how I was getting on at the club.

“In our league games, after the Liverpool loss, we beat Sunderland 5-0 at home then beat Huddersfield Town 2-1 away. This was followed by a 2-1 defeat at home to Barnsley and a 2-1 win at Sunderland in our last game before the tournament win.”

Craig used to play for Scarborough Athletic and Phoenix in the Hull Boys League and Scarborough Minor League, and also turned out for his team at Newby School and Scalby School.

Dad Gary said: “Even though Craig left Newby School a couple of years ago the head teacher Chris Knowles always asks how Craig is getting on at Leeds and has even managed to get along and watch some games, which is a great testament to how supportive he is of sport in this area.”