For many children his age, the only fights that happen are between friends in the playground, but for Treyvan Campbell, it’s top flight football academies that are already fighting over his future.
With offers from both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City Academies for a pre contract, this 6 year old has already shown the natural talent and ability that has the big leagues calling.
The youngest of 3 boys, Treyvan started his football career only 2 years ago, when his father Gavin took him to a local 3G Pitch at St Matthews, but even he couldn’t have foreseen the whirlwind journey that the family have been on since.
“I just wanted him to play grassroots football,” began Gavin, “but then he got recommended by a coach to Coventry City, then Nottingham Forest, Derby, Wolves and Leicester, and he’s been playing with all of these clubs over the last year.”
“I’m shocked that it’s happened so quickly, but very grateful, and amazed that he’s been offered pre-contracts 2 years early from Wolves and Leicester to tie him down 2 years before he can officially sign a full contract.”
“You’d think he was a 17 year old looking at first team football, but he’s only 6!”
Gavin homeschools Treyvan, and started his formal education around the same time as his football education.
Treyvan is a winger, and in his own words, he “loves to go on the wing because there is less players and more room. I love being able to cut in and shoot, and show my skills.”
“My friends think it’s great that I’m playing with the Academies, and I love Wolves,” continued Treyvan. “They don’t give up, when they practice they do it for hours and they’ve got a great team.”
“I like playing football because it’s fun, I get to show off my skills, and I play to win!”
Treyvan works hard both at his football, and his schoolwork, balancing 2-3 hours of football practice a day with the full curriculum of subjects.
“I feel 1 on 1 teaching will always beat 30 on 1,” Gavin explained, “which is why I work in the evenings and teach and train him during the day. We started him at 4 years old, and now he’s at least a year above, if not two, from where he should be for his age group.”
The sight of black footballers in the game now is a regular one, but it wasn’t that long ago that the likes of Arthur Wharton, widely considered not only England’s, but the world’s first black professional footballer, were making waves by coming into the game.
It is a great time that thanks to their hard work and sacrifice, the path to success is that much easier for children like Treyvan to follow in, but we still have a long way to go. As we celebrate Black History Month, we acknowledge the past, but look to our future, and as teacher for Treyvan, Gavin has his own views on Black History Month.
“I feel there should be more than just a Black History Month, it should just be a base part of the curriculum, having one month to focus on our culture and history isn’t enough.”
“It would reduce the ignorance in children, in terms of prejudice and racist views. It can make them more open minded. I went to a private school in London, and we had a lot of kids from overseas, and learning about their culture was amazing, whereas if I had been brought up in my local school and estate, then I feel I would probably be more prejudiced.”
Treyvan has now signed with Wolverhampton Wanderers on a pre-contract, securing his place for the next 2 years.
It’s true that we are a product of our environment, and we have a long way to go before everyone is on a level playing field and treated equally, but if the environment that Gavin and his wife are creating for Treyvan is anything to go by considering how much he is flourishing already, then the future is in good hands, albeit one child at a time.