Teenager Butterfield chasing pro dreams in Italy
A schoolboy footballer has scored a place to train as a professional at an Italian football academy.
Striker K’Tori Butterfield, 16, said he planned to move to Perugia in Italy for 12 months of intensive training on the Italian Soccer Management Academy’s international scouting programme early next year and his family has started fundraising to raise the $25,000 needed for the move.
K’Tori, a CedarBridge Academy pupil, said: “I felt surprised and excited when I got the invitation. I am looking forward to new beginnings.
“I have loved football since I was five — my whole family loves football.
“I want to be known as the best player to come out of Bermuda. I want to create a legacy — how I do that depends on whatever opportunity presents itself.”
K’Tori, who has played for Somerset Trojans since he was five years old, was talent-spotted by the ISM Academy in June as he trained with the national football side and invited to try out for the academy for two weeks.
He was invited to attend the academy full-time a month later — and also attracted interest from clubs in the Italian fourth and fifth divisions. The Sandys youngster, who is training with the national under-17 team, moved to England in 2013 for several years and played for Stuart & Lloyds, an amateur side in Corby, Northamptonshire, where one of his coaches was a talent agent with ties to Juventus and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
K’Tori said in a letter to potential donors: “Training was intense, but that’s where I learnt my discipline and respect for the game. It was also at that point I knew I was destined to be somebody in the football industry.
“My coach saw something in me that made him want to prepare me for what could end up being my ticket to becoming the next Nahki Wells or Shaun Goater.”
He added: “I have worked hard and truly believe that I have earned this opportunity. I believe in myself and so does everyone around me that supports me. I have what it takes to make it. I have a promising future ahead of me in football.
“I don’t just play football, it is a part of me and a part of who I am. I have a love and respect for the game and am dedicated to seeing my dreams come true.
“I am ready to take on all the responsibilities and pressures that come with making it in this football industry.”
K’Tori already has contacts who have made it big in football — Nahki Wells, on loan at Sky Bet Championship side Queens Park Rangers from Premier League team Burnley, is a family friend.
K’Tori’s mother Kelvet said: “Both of my brothers play football and my brother and Nahki are best friends.
“Whenever Nahki is here in Bermuda, he is always over at the house and they are always going back and forth with football banter. K’Tori has a lot of positive influences in his life.”
The family plan to run a series of fundraising events and are working on an Instagram page, @ktorifootballfund, to give updates on fundraising, which should be operational by the end of this week.
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