A promising young footballer nicknamed the Bear for his fearless tackling has had his first taste of international action.
Carrick Willcock travelled to the Netherlands to represent Nottingham Forest grassroots academy in a Easter friendship trophy against under 8s teams from the host nation as well as Germany and France.
They were the most successful under 8s side Forest had taken over to Holland in 16 years, despite having to adapt to bigger pitches and goals and different footballs.
They finished second in the first pool stage on the Friday and then won the second pool, with Carrick asked to captain the side for a game.
They then came second overall in the Saturday/Sunday tournament, losing out to the under 9s Nottingham Forest grassroots team.
Carrick said: “I had a great time. Some were tough games, but we did really well.”
He plays every week for Melton Foxes, as well as Forest, and has been going to football sessions since he was three.
He was invited to join Forest’s academy at under 7s level and last summer was also offered a place by Leicester City after performing well at the annual Asfordby FC tournament.
But he decided to stay at Forest’s grassroots academy where he had made new friends.
Mum Natalie said: “He was nicknamed ‘the bear’ by the coaches for his fearless tackles on children twice his size when he competed against under 9s teams when he was still only seven.
“We are very proud of Carrick and the whole team for their fantastic attitude and great teamwork, supporting each other to achieve their best.”