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Bailey set for Premier League club trials and tour

TOUR: Hervey Bay football player Bailey Paxton, 14, will visit the homes of major English Premier League clubs as part of a West Ham United tour.
TOUR: Hervey Bay football player Bailey Paxton, 14, will visit the homes of major English Premier League clubs as part of a West Ham United tour. Matthew McInerney

MEET Bailey Paxton.

A prolific striker who counts Manchester City's all-time highest goal-scorer Sergio Aguero as his favourite player, this 14-year-old will step into the Argentine's shadow at the end of this month.

A tour of City of Manchester Stadium, where Aguero plies his trade, beckons for young Bailey, who has dedicated 10 years of his life to the world game.

Bailey was offered an opportunity to visit the United Kingdom as part of West Ham United Academy's annual tour.

He leaves on November 26, and tours of the English Premier League's biggest clubs, including Manchester City, Manchester United, Stoke City, and West Bromwich Albion beckons.

West Ham United runs a talent identification camp in Maryborough every year.

From there, a handful of players are offered a chance to participate in a national camp at the Gold Coast, where a small group are offered a spot in the UK tour.

Bailey was on duty for Wide Bay at the Queensland Championships at the time of this year's local camp, but managed to earn an invitation based on his form and attendence last year.

"It was hard," he said.

"My group was my age and from Melbourne so they probably had different levels of coaching. At the start it was (intimidating) but I felt I was probably better than them at the end."

That comment does not come from an inflated ego.

Instead, the quietly spoken Fraser Coast Anglican College student lets his achievements on the football field do the talking.

Bailey was named a shadow for Queensland Country this year, and has led three teams to a premiership this year.

He scored 38 goals from 22 games for KSS Jets Spitfires on their way to the under-15 Fraser Coast League title.

He found the net 44 times in 20 games for Fraser Coast's Inter City Challenge- winning team, and was the equal leading goal-scorer as Wide Bay won the state championships. He scored 12 goals and earned 12 assists in 12 games.

Bailey's formula for success includes sprint and athletic training with renowned coach Rick MacDonald, academy training with Elite Eleven's Troy Rober't, FCAC's Flames academy with Adrian Elmes, as well as his regular fixtures.

Time in the backyard of the Paxton's family's one-acre property spent working on ball control and shooting helps hones his skill even further.

He counts Aguero as his favourite striker due to the 29-year-old's aggression and his desire to find the back of the net. One look at Bailey in action and it's not hard to see the similarity.

Bailey will take those talents to Wide Bay Buccaneers' U15s team in the Football Queensland Premier League next season, but his dream is to play professional football.

"The next 12 months, probably just to keep training and get as good as I can," Bailey said "Long term, I want to go overseas and play professionally."

Click here to help Bailey Paxton take full advantage of his opportunity.

Topics:  fcsport wide bay buccaneers