Lit­tle Leo played hard to get for Posh

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Come on Boro -

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.

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