Little Leo played hard to get for Posh
Youngster Leo Da Silva Lopes was so sure of his ability he didn’t rush to sign for Posh when the Football League club came calling. Da Silva Lopes was spotted playing for successful Peterborough Junior Alliance League side Powerleague Under 14s when the Posh scouts turned up to run the rule over afrail-looking, butimmensely talented attackingmidfielder.
They were impressed, but their target, who was then 14, played hard to get at first.
He loved playing with his mates and he didn’t want to leave them in the lurch midway through a season.
“Posh watched me twice,” Da Silva Lopes stated. “They wanted to sign me for their youth set-up straight away, but I wanted to wait until the end of the season.
“I didn’t playforaclubuntil I was nine or 10. I was happy kicking a ball about with my mates. I wasn’tbotheredabout doing anything else.
“But I joined Powerleague and I enjoyed playing for them, and we were trying to win some trophies so I stayed with my club and hoped Posh wouldstill beinterested in me at the end of the season!
“Luckily they were and whenIfinallysignedforthemI wasn’t daunted by mynewsituation. I had scored loads of goals for Powerleague so I was full of confidence that I could make it as a professional.”
Da Silva Lopes duly collected acoupleofcupwinners medals with Powerleague before joining Posh and becoming an instant hit with the club’s Academy staff, as much for his humble modesty as for his obvious ability.
He had already caused a stir behind the scenes when he shot to prominence at the ageof15withawondergoalfor Posh Under 18s in an FAYouth CuptieagainstNottsCountyat London Road.
Then followed a first-team call-up at the age of 16 years and four months. His debut against Crawley in April, 2015 made him the third youngest player in Posh’s Football League era.
Leo Da Silva Lopes (back row centre) celebrates a cup win with Powerleague Under 14s.
Leo Da Silva Lopes in action for the Posh first team.