Nottingham Forest sign Harrogate Town prodigy Rob Worrall

Rob Worrall in action for Harrogate Town (Photo: Peter Arnett)
Rob Worrall in action for Harrogate Town (Photo: Peter Arnett)

Harrogate Town teenager Rob Worrall has secured a dream move to Nottingham Forest.

The 17-year-old, who is from Harrogate, attracted interest from the Championship outfit after starring for Town in an Under 21s friendly win over Forest at the end of last season.

Worrall spent time at Harrogate Railway on loan last season (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Worrall spent time at Harrogate Railway on loan last season (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Town boss Simon Weaver has been a long admirer of the youngster's talents and was quick to put him on a contract at the CNG Stadium last season.

Town will receive a nominal fee which will increase substantially if the young ace breaks into the first team squad at Forest.

A sell on clause was also added to the deal.

Weaver said: “It's fantastic for the player and for our club as a whole.

“The lad has got an opportunity at a well-respected Championship club with such a magnificent history.”

Worrall admitted that the chance to turn professional, and join a club with such an esteemed past was too good to turn down.

The attacking midfielder said: “I started at Under 17 level with the club and working my way up has been a great process, they have helped me a lot and I would like to say thank you to everyone.

“It would have been nice to continue at Harrogate, a good club that is really going forward, but joining Forest is an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. The stature of the club and the amount of history there is great; I can’t wait to get started.”

Worrall is the first player to make his way through Harrogate's relatively newly-founded academy structure and attract the interest of professional clubs.

After breaking into the first team squad as a 16-year-old two seasons ago, Worrall spent time on trial at Blackburn Rovers last year.

He also starred during a short loan spell at Harrogate Railway where he scored one goal.

After returning to Town, he featured predominantly in the U21 set up last season but also made his mark in the West Riding County Cup.

So much so, he won the man of the match award as Town fell to defeat in the County Cup final against Bradford Park Avenue in May.

Weaver said: “He is technically excellent and his vision is superb.

“At times it looks like he has got eyes in the back of his head.

“The big thing now for him is to get the physical sharpness to cope with the day to day training there.”

Worrall's route from non league to a professional club may draw instant comparisons with Leicester City and England hero Jamie Vardy, who played at part-time club Stocksbridge Park Steels.

But Weaver insisted the two stories were poles apart.

“They are both totally different scenarios,” he added.

“Vardy was in his early 20s bit Rob is 17 and he is not in the first team yet. He still has a lot of physical development to do.

“He has made huge strides in that part of his game since having gym membership that the club provides and he will continue that development at Forest.

“He would have done well on the 3G pitch here but he will be getting that day to day there”