Former Arsenal triallist Tyger signs for Seasiders
- Credit: Archant
You can’t keep the Suffolk-based Smalls brothers out of the headlines at the moment.
Tyger Smalls, who had a trial with Premier League giants Arsenal earlier last March, has signed a contract with Felixstowe & Walton United, less than a week after his younger brother Mydas became the youngest goalscorer in the FA Cup.
Left-sided attacker Tyger Smalls, who began last season at Haverhill Rovers, shot to fame when a video of one of his wonder goals, against Thetford Town, went viral.
The 17-year-old has since gone on to enjoy a week’s training at Arsenal, and also had a short stint in Italy linking up with then-Serie A club S.P.A.L., but is now ready to make his mark at Step Four of non-league with Felixstowe & Walton United, on the path towards eventually becoming a professional footballer.
“I have a good friendly rivalry with my brother,” enthused Tyger, whose younger sibling Mydas scored in Whitton’s 4-3 win over Ipswich Wanderers last week, at 16 years and 63 days becoming the youngest player to score in the FA Cup.
Tyger continued: “I scored last weekend (for Felixstowe in a 2-1 win over Lowestoft in a friendly), but he didn’t score for Whitton (league win over Thetford. We egg each other on, and encourage each other to do better.
“Like my brother, I ultimately want to play professional football in the Football League.
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“I want to establish myself at Felixstowe and have a good season, and see what happens from there.
“I played as a striker for Haverhill Rovers and then played on the left wing for Saffron Walden Town (from December last season).
“Now I will be playing on the left wing for Felixstowe. I actually played one friendly at the start of pre-season (5-1 win at Newmarket) but got injured for a few weeks, and only came back last weekend.
“I think Felixstowe had been trying to get my number for two months during the lockdown,” added Tyger.
Like his brother Mydas, attacker Tyger - he turns 18 on September 18 - was on the youth team books of Tottenham during his younger days, although both brothers are now determined to make the professional grade by playing as much men’s football as possible, rather than going via the Academy route. Their younger brother Magic is also a talented footballer.
Tyger continued: “I had a trial with Arsenal, training with the under-23s for five days and also the first team. That went well.
“Several of their under-23s were injured at the time. I was supposed to play in some matches as well, but then everything got shut down with Covid-19.
“In my opinion, it’s better to play men’s football, where you will learn more, rather than just playing for the under-23s.
“That should stand me in good stead for the future, playing in more physical games.
“I also went to Italy in the last February half-term, to train with a Serie A club (S.P.A.L.), but the doctor got something wrong with my medical, so instead of being cleared to start training on Monday, I couldn’t start until Thursday, which left me just two days, and they had a game on the Saturday as well, so Friday was only light training.
“Now I want to do well for Felixstowe, starting in the FA Cup. and perhaps score like my brother.
“I was at Impington College last academic year, but I am being home-schooled this term so that if other football opportunities come my way, then I will be in a position to take them,” added Tyger.
Felixstowe & Walton United begin their new season with a trip to Hashtag United on Sunday, for an FA Cup preliminary round tie. They begin their Isthmian League North campaign with a trip to Great Wakering Rovers on Saturday week.
THURLOW NUNN PREMIER ROUND-UP
Meanwhile, honours were even in the West Suffolk derby at Cricket Field Road tonight, as MILDENHALL TOWN scored late to secure a 2-2 draw at hosts NEWMARKET TOWN.
It looked as though Joe Maybanks’s a spectacular second-half shot would be enough to win it for the Jockeys, only for Ben Yeomans to deservedly salvage a point for the visitors in the second minute of injury-time.
Mildenhall had bossed much of the first period, and went ahead through Tanner Call’s neat finish on nine minutes following a sweeping move.
But the Jockeys levelled before half-time through skipper Jack Watson, who curled a delightful shot beyond the reach of keeper Danny Crump, and winger Maybanks then came up trumps with a superb rising shot from 25 yards out that flew into the roof of the net to put Newmarket 2-1 up.
However, substitute Yeomans slotted home a low shot beyond keeper Alex Archer at the death to secure a point for The Hall. It was both sides first game of the new season.
Elsewhere, STOWMARKET TOWN were held to a goalless draw at Norwich United, despite the home club playing with 10 men for the final 25 minutes due to Shaun Wones’ sending-off for two bookable offences.
In the Suffolk derby, visiting HADLEIGH UNITED recorded an impressive 2-0 at WHITTON UNITED, thanks to a brace from Joel Glover.
Glover fired the Brettsiders ahead on five minutes, and then scored a second just one minute into the second half, turning home a low delivery from Joe Yaxley.
LONG MELFORD notched a fine 1-1 draw away at STANWAY ROVERS. Jamie Griffiths had put the Villagers ahead in the 20th minute, with Craig Hughes equalising for Rovers eight minutes later.
WOODBRIDGE TOWN conceded a last minute goal to lose 2-1 at KIRKLEY & PAKEFIELD. Tillet netted the winner, after Haylock had equalised for the hosts on 43 minutes.
BRANTHAM ATHLETIC won 2-1 away at Clacton, thanks to first-half goals by Ben Newson and Jonny Lee. Finley Caro netted the Seasiders’ consolation.
WALSHAM LE WILLOWS lost a thriller 5-4 at Gorleston, despite being 2-0 up after 10 minutes. Peter Lambert scored a hat-trick for the hosts, the Willows netting two late goals to ensure a nervous finale.