TEENAGERS Niall Huggins and Jack Clarke are on the road to possible footballing stardom at Championship club Leeds United.
The duo, from York, have signed scholarships at Elland Road and are now only two seasons away from achieving their dreams of turning professional.
Huggins, 16, is a winger or striker from Fulford who attended Fulfordgate School. Clarke, also 16, is a striker who lives in York and attended Archbishop Holgates School.
Both have been attached to the Leeds United Academy at Thorp Arch for the last eight years.
Huggins has been hampered by injury this season but Clarke has progressed to the Under-23 side after top-scoring for both the Under-16 and Under-18 teams.
"This is everything that I have worked hard for over the last couple of years," said Clarke. "It feels like the start of what I want to do with my life. But I don't have any set aims Whatever happens (next), I will be grateful for it."
Huggins, however, is already setting his sights on first team football.
"I am looking forward to the next two years," said Huggins. "I will be working hard and putting all my effort into, hopefully, getting a 'pro' deal at the end of it. That's the goal.
"I am aiming to be in the first team at 18," he insisted. "You have got to aim for it! Even if you don't make it, you aim to get in as early as possible."
"It is eight years since I first came and signed for the club when I was eight," he added. "It is good to be back signing up as scholar now. It is quite a proud moment. I have put a lot into this."
Huggins wants to follow in the footsteps of players including Ronaldo Viera, Kalvin Phillips, and Lewie Coyle who have graduated from the club's Academy to become members of the first team squad at Elland Road this season.
"It is inspiring," he said. "When I started, they were Under-10 and Under-11 players. We have seen them all push through to the first team. It's good to watch them and think 'we can do that as well.'"
Alongside football development, a two year scholarship with a professional football club also provides an education programme for the players to follow during their time at Thorp Arch.
Leeds have awarded two year scholarships to only eight players this summer - Huggins and Clarke joining Oliver Casey, Theodore Hudson, Luke Lyons, Harrison Male, Lucas Odunston, and Joseph Stanley in being paraded by the club this week.