COX GREEN Sports Academy star Keaton August has received an international call-up ahead of the under-17 (U17) World Cup.

August, 17, lived in New Zealand until the age of 10 and has been named in their training camp ahead of the finals in India this October.

The winger admits it would be fantastic to represent New Zealand, where his aunt and uncle still live, and he hopes to one day earn a professional contract.

August told the Observer: "It means quite a lot to be contacted by New Zealand football because I used to live there, and to represent the country in a World Cup would be fantastic.

"The camp will probably involve tactical training and match play to get ready for the competition.

"I've got to get used to playing with the squad and we will see how things go, but I back myself 100 per-cent."

The Slough resident made two appearances for Windsor last season and believes the club has helped him in his development.

He said: "I've really enjoyed the season. I've got a lot of football in and really improved over the year. I think my footwork and speed has improved, plus my strength, which is the main thing.

"The first team experience with Windsor has helped me. Playing against older people and with more experienced ones has improved my game.

"I'm hoping that I might get a contract with a professional club."

Ashley Smith is Academy Director at Cox Green and believes the international call-up is deserved recognition for the dedication and character shown by August.

He said: "For this to come about is big recognition for Keaton and for the Academy. We've known about it for a while and have been putting together video footage for New Zealand Football to have a look at.

"We think he deserves this. He's been determined to get better every day and has improved game by game.

"From my point of view, Keaton had a slow start to the season because he was injured, but he's come back and got better.

"Keaton has got a habit of match winning in terms of the goals he scores, and you need that cutting edge to make it at the next level.

"He wants to get better and has already shown tremendous character to come back from injury. Keaton has worked hard and we strongly believe that he can be successful in professional football.

"The next three-six months could be very big for him and we believe he is one of many that have got what it takes.

"Like the majority of players we have, Keaton is striving to get better as a player.

"And as coaches we have structure in place to showcase their abilities for the opportunity to meet with professional clubs."

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