AFC Telford’s future is in safe hands with Charlie Preece

A dedicated goalkeeping star of the future has clocked up the miles during lockdown in support of AFC Telford United.

AFC Telford Utd under-11s goalkeeper Charlie Preece is raising money for the club's Boost the Budget fundraiser
AFC Telford Utd under-11s goalkeeper Charlie Preece is raising money for the club's Boost the Budget fundraiser

Charlie Preece, who is 11, decided to take up exercising during the lockdown and completed his challenge of running five miles from his home in Wrockwardine to the New Bucks Head stadium on Saturday morning.

The shot-stopper racked up three miles every other day alongside dad Tommy in training for the fundraiser.

And the Bucks under-11s star has raised more than £400 for the football club after donations from family and friends. His total will go towards the club's 'Boost the Budget' fundraising to assist manager Gavin Cowan.

Preece, who attends St Lucia's Church Of England Primary School in Upton Magna, was met at Telford's home by boss Cowan, chairman Andy Pryce and striker Aaron Williams (CHECK THESE IN PIC**) after completing his run.

Proud dad Tommy said: "He wanted to do some exercise so started running, we downloaded the 'Couch to 10k app but off his own back he said he wanted a purpose so decided to raise money for the club and it's gone from there.

"He's raised more than £400 now, Furrows Car Group sponsored him this morning after I took my car in there.

"He has been very dedicated, we've been running three miles pretty much every other day. It's been getting me fit! Last week during the heavy rain he was running through floods, that's dedication."

Preece, who has played for Telford for three years, enjoyed a Zoom video call with Cowan, who has praised the youngster's efforts as well as chipping into the fund, and was at the New Bucks Head to welcome Telford's two new senior goalkeeper signings Russ Griffiths and Ash Rawlins.

The youngster has been backed from as far away as Australia, by his aunt.

As well as guarding the net for Telford's under-11s in the Midland Premier League on Saturdays, he is goalkeeper for Wrekin Tigers under-12s, who were unbeaten last season, in Sunday league.

Charlie, whose brothers Archie, 14, and Jimmy, 10, also play football, has had trials at Wolves and Shrewsbury Town as well as drawing interest from Port Vale.

He will attend Charlton School in Wellington in September.

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