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Herne Bay youngster Elliot Cutts has been likened to Brazil star Neymar and Arsenal forward Theo Walcott as he looks to make it as a pro footballer

Herne Bay teenager Elliot Cutts is aiming to emulate his friend and former Whitstable man Aaron Simpson and make it as a full-time professional footballer.

Cutts played the first 45 minutes at right-midfield in England Schoolboys’ 2-1 defeat against a touring Australian Schools FA team at Stafford Town earlier this month.

It was a warm-up ahead of the prestigious Centenary Shield, which pits the Home Nations against each other beginning at the end of the month.

Elliot Cutts
Elliot Cutts

Cutts revealed: “It was a very good experience, even though we lost. We knew they were decent as they’d beaten Scotland 5-0 earlier in their tour.

“I started the game and played 45 minutes, it was 1-1 when I came off. The pitch wasn’t great but it was a leveller for both teams. I tried to do the right things, work hard, apply pressure, be comfortable on the ball, try to keep it and take on my man, even though it was difficult on a bobbly pitch.”

Cutts was deployed just ahead of right-back Simpson, who this month signed a two-year-deal at Wolves, less than 13 months after making his debut for Whitstable in the Ryman League Division 1 South, earning man-of-the-match against Faversham.

The move to the Championship giants means Simpson will not be able to represent England at schoolboy level, but Cutts revealed: “It was his choice. I am happy for him, I have known him from under-7s when he played for Ashford and he deserved it, he’s been working hard.”

Simpson joined Maidstone United this season, combining his training with the Soccer Elite Academy, something which Cutts is unable to do as he is in the upper-sixth form at Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys.

Cutts said: “Aaron’s doing exactly what I’m aiming to do. He works hard and he’s suited to the football lifestyle with his Academy. I’m at school, so it’s not as much of a structured schedule for me, but I do what I can.

“I am happy with Herne Bay for now, but if I was given the opportunity to move up I’d have to contemplate it. For now I plan on taking a gap year off after school and see if my football could progress.”

On Friday (February 13) Cutts returned to Lilleshall for a five-day England training camp which included friendlies against the under-18 teams of Chesterfield and Wolves.

He revealed: “Lilleshall is great, the facilities are fantastic, the pitches are perfect, always freshly cut, and it’s like staying in a five-star hotel.

“I’d imagine the players that impress at the camp will be the ones who get to play when the Shield games come around, but there is always competition for places.”

Cutts claims his playing style has been compared to Brazilian superstar Neymar, but the self-confessed Arsenal fan admits he has plenty in common with one of his own idols.

“People say I play a bit like Theo Walcott, like kids on the playground. I have always looked up to Arsenal players and I like his playing style. My attributes are similar – pace, agility, beating a man. I like to think my negatives are small, but maybe my left foot isn’t the strongest.”

England face Wales at Truro City on February 27 (7pm) before welcoming Northern Ireland to Eastleigh FC on March 6 (7pm).

They travel to Dumbarton to play Scotland on April 10 before completing their campaign against the Republic of Ireland at Sligo Rovers on April 17.

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