THERE was cause for a double celebration for 17-year-old footballer from Pembrokeshire who realised his dream by playing twice for Wales in the space of four days, writes Gordon Thomas.
Last Friday, Laurie Haworth made his debut for Wales Under-18s Schoolboys then on Monday, he also played his first game for the Welsh Colleges, as both Wales teams defeated Australia under-19s and the teenager was thrilled to pick-up two international caps in the bargain.
Haworth, who plays for Haverfordwest Academy, Pembrokeshire College and Camrose AFC had the honour of facing the southern hemisphere touring side at Llanwern High School in Newport, on Friday. The match opened a brand new floodlit pitch to compliment the £30 million new school.
The Wales Under-18s Schoolboys found themselves playing against an older and physically much bigger side, despite this, Wales did fantastically well to win 3-2 in a highly entertaining game in front of a big crowd, with the mayor of Newport, Councillor Cliff Suller, and the Welsh Minister for Sport AM John Griffiths in attendance.
The young player from Pembrokeshire had a good game on the left side of midfield and afterwards was praised by his manager for his ball control and high work-rate. Shortly after the game the teenager said: “It was amazing to represent Wales and an incredible experience to play with and against such talented players, I was really proud to be there.”
Then on Monday, Haworth came on as a substitute in the Welsh Colleges 3-1 victory against the same opposition held at Cambrian and Clydach’s ground. Also included in the Colleges starting line-up was another local lad in the form of Jack Britton, who played extremely well in the heart of midfield and was joined by his Pembrokeshire College team-mate in the second half.
Laurie was well supported with a minibus full of his family and friends in Newport and Cambrian and Clydach. He is currently studying for a sport qualification at Pembrokeshire College after attending Sir Thomas Picton School. The young sportsman has also represented West Wales at cross-country and athletics.
Haworth is aiming to feature in the Wales squads who play against English Independent Schools on February 9, Republic of Ireland on March 6, England on March 14, Scotland on March 21 and finally Northern Ireland on April 16.
Telegraph Sport wishes Laurie Haworth and Jack Britton all the best in forthcoming Wales’s internationals.