Shoot-out star Burnett is spot-on in Leeds United Under-16s' penalty success

SHOOT-OUT SUCCESS: Alfie Burnett  shone for Leeds United in Portugal. Picture by Richard Ponter
SHOOT-OUT SUCCESS: Alfie Burnett shone for Leeds United in Portugal. Picture by Richard Ponter

Scarborough’s Alfie Burnett was the shoot-out hero as he helped Leeds United Under-16s to penalty success at the Esposende Cup in Portugal.

Burnett, 15, and his United teammates had drawn 1-1 in the final of the pre-season competition against Nottingham Forest before the St Augustine’s School pupil saved all three Forest penalties in the resulting 3-0 shoot-out success.

In their 10 games in total at the tournament, Burnett only conceded two goals as he impressed throughout.

Burnett pulled off three superb penalty saves in the final shoot-out, in front of around 3,000 fans at the Estádio Padre Avelino Peres Filipe.

“It was a great experience,” said Burnett, who signed for the Elland Road club after a couple of seasons at York City.

“It was pretty nerve-racking as there was a crowd of over 3,000 there and it was a big game for us.

“I had intel on the first penalty taker from our analyst so I trusted that, but the other two I just tried to read their approach and it paid off for me.

“I was feeling fairly confident as I’d saved a penalty in a shoot-out earlier in the tournament and we hadn’t conceded many goals over there.”

Burnett, who is a former Scarborough Athletic player, is trained by two goalkeeping coaches at United, one of whom is former Leeds and Wimbledon stopper Neil Sullivan.

“I’ve learned so much in my first year with the club and have come on a lot,” he added.

“I’ll find out in December if I am being kept at the club on a scholarship so fingers crossed I can impress enough between now and then.

“I need to thank my family for all the time and effort they’ve put into my progress and also all my coaches who’ve helped me so far.”