Former Cornard Dynamos team-mates Oliver Sims and Max Maughn are dreaming of a professional football career after both recently signed two-year scholarships at Colchester United.
The teenage duo, who both currently play together for Colchester Under-16s, will begin their scholarships at the Sky Bet League Two club from July this year.
Sims and Maughn began their budding football careers together in the youth system at Cornard Dynamos, where they played in the club’s Under-8s and Under-9s teams, before being reunited at Colchester a few years later.
Maughn, 15, lives in Sudbury and has been with Colchester since the age of nine, having previously had a short spell in Ipswich Town’s Elite Squad, and proud mum Sue is delighted with her son’s progress through the ranks at the Essex side.
“Max started playing when he was five with the Cornard Dynamos and then he was involved in the Ipswich Elite Squad,” she said.
“He’s been at Colchester since he was nine. Him and Ollie started together at Cornard Dynamos and played Under-8s and Under-9s, then Max left mid-season to join Colchester.
“Ollie joined Colchester at Under-12s and they’ve played together again ever since.
“Max is a midfielder and plays eight or 10. He’s played in all sorts of positions, probably 10 out of the 11 positions he’s started in at some point.”
Fifteen-year-old Sims lives in Great Cornard and is a Year 11 student at Thomas Gainsborough School, who dad Richard says have been a big help in letting him have time off to continue his development at Colchester.
“We’re chuffed to bits,” he said. “He’s worked very hard.
“He does the right things. At 15 years old the temptations come, but he eats the right food, goes to bed early, he’s sacrificed a lot.”
Sims, who predominantly plays as a striker, has scored hat-tricks against the youth teams of Tottenham Hotspur and Ipswich Town, while also getting on the scoresheet in matches against the likes of Norwich City, Arsenal and West Ham United.
“He’s happy at Colchester United and they’re a good club,” added dad Richard.
“They’ve looked after him, they’ve been very honest with him and their ethos is very good. They want to promote local talent.
“He’s had offers from Norwich and Ipswich, clubs are sniffing around which is great, but he says he’s happy at Colchester and that’s fine by us.”