Abbey new year for Luke

RISING football star Luke Hannant has been awarded a two-year scholarship with Cambridge United Football Club starting in June. Luke, 16, is the first player to be awarded an early scholarship for the forthcoming season.

RISING football star Luke Hannant has been awarded a two-year scholarship with Cambridge United Football Club starting in June.

Luke, 16, is the first player to be awarded an early scholarship for the forthcoming season.

He kicked off his playing career with the very successful Halvergate youth side and was coached by his father Kevin, an ex-Halvergate player, and his grandfather David.

Luke scored over 100 goals in one season with Halvergate whilst playing in the Norfolk and Suffolk League and caught the eye of Norwich and Ipswich scouts who both offered him places at their academy.

Aged nine, he joined the Norwich City Academy playing with them until the age of 14. He joined Cambridge United in 2007 and is described by his present coach, Jez George, as a very talented, two-footed, midfield player with huge potential and a wide vision for the game.

Luke has been training with the U18 squad whilst still a pupil at Acle High School and will continue to train with the squad every Monday at Cambridge until he leaves school in the summer and has completed his GCSEs.

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Luke was named Acle High School's sportsman of the year award for 2009.

Cambridge, currently in the Blue Square Conference PremierDivision, have produced many footballing stars at the Abbey Stadium over the years.

One of the most famous was Dion Dublin who, having been rejected by Norwich City as a youngster after a three-month trial, went on to play for clubs including Manchester United, Aston Villa, the Canaries and England in lengthy and glittering career. He retired from playing aged 39 and is now Sky soccer pundit.