AN OSWESTRY school pupil is flying the flag for his area after he joined a training camp for Wales’ under-13 football team this week.

Leo Chorlton Wilcox, aged 12 and a student at the Marches School, plays for Bala Town and has been selected to join the Football Association of Wales (FAW) under-13s pathway programme.

The programme is split into three sections, for young football hopefuls in North Wales, Mid-Wales and South Wales.

Based in Weston Rhyn, Leo hopes to make his area proud by representing them on a national stage.

His dad, Andrew Wilcox, said: “It’s not easy to get onto the programme – Leo was recommended by his coach at Bala.

“Bala is a really good club, the coaches stay for a while and are massively invested in the children’s development.

“Over 12 or 13 years of taking our children to play football, it is the first time we have heard of someone locally making this stage, so it’s a great achievement for Leo.

“I don’t think he realised that when we first told him, but once we had all of the documentation through he realised it is a good opportunity and he’s looking forward to it.”

Leo joined up with the North Wales group of the programme on Wednesday, at Colliers Park – the National Football Development Centre, based in Wrexham.

His first day consisted of a mix of classroom-based learning and drills out on the pitch.

Andrew added: “He was a bit nervous about Wednesday, but also super proud of himself.

“He’s a good listener who has always applied himself when it comes to both school and his football.

“His first ever proper coach, Ian at Chirk, spent a lot of time with Leo helping him out because he is a bit of a perfectionist.

“He’s never afraid to ask questions if there’s something he’s unsure about, so I’m sure he’s going to do a good job.”

Andrew said everyone in Leo’s family is very proud of his achievement.

He said: “I was very emotional when we received the email inviting him onto the programme, as was Leo’s mother.

“It’s a tremendous moment for everybody in the family.”