Pic: Edmund Boyden
AS a footballer you never know just who is watching you play when you lace up your boots and make your way onto the pitch.
After notching the opening goal in Welling United’s 3-1 defeat to Grimsby Town in the National League two weeks ago, 19-year-old midfielder Sam Corne turned on his phone to see the news that Premier League giants Chelsea had sent out scouts to monitor his performances.
“I didn’t know anything about it but I was shocked because I am in fact a Chelsea fan,” Corne told The NLP: “After the game up at Grimsby I was scrolling through twitter and I saw someone tweeted me with the article; I was stunned.”
A star performer for the Wings so far this season with four goals from midfield – with his long-range thunderbolt against Tranmere a highlight – Corne has been rumoured to be leaving Park View Road in the near future.
The teenager, though, insists he is staying grounded for now.
“I was completely overwhelmed but you can’t take too much from it as it’s really early doors, and I’m still at Welling so I’ve got to do the business on the pitch,” he said.
“It’s always good to have people notice you and come down to watch you; I’m obviously doing something right and I’m going to have to continue it for the rest of the season.
“I just want to play well and getting interest from other clubs is always good, but I am at Welling at the end of the day and they have my full attention.”
A Chelsea fan through and through and a central midfielder by trade, Corne has always been in awe of Chelsea legend and all-time top scorer Frank Lampard, and tries to model his game around the former England international.
“I am a Lampard fan and I always have been,” he said. “Lamps was always strong at judging crosses and making those late runs into the penalty area, and that’s something I have been trying to work on.
“I scored last week against Grimsby and it was very much in similar fashion, so I was pretty happy to get a goal like that.”
Whether or not a switch to Stamford Bridge will come to fruition, Blues fan Corne admits a move to the Premier League champions may not necessarily be the best recipe for success in his young career as a footballer.
He said: “I used to go and watch a game every now and then when the opportunity came about, and every time we would win a cup I would go to the museum and get my photo taken next to the trophy.
“It would be a massive thing for Chelsea to make an offer, but you still have to weigh up your options. You don’t really see many players coming through the ranks at big clubs like that and given a chance.
“Security-wise it would be pretty good for you but there are always other clubs about who would give you a chance if you impressed them enough.”