Barcelona youngster from Eastbourne back in action after seven months
Eastbourne's talented young footballer Ethan Stapley has returned to Barcelona academy after a seven months absence caused by the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
Ethan is relieved to be retained after hearing that a number of his team-mates have been released due to the worldwide economic crisis.I
He told Herald Sport, "I was ecstatic when I heard we were back at the academy after such a long spell but I am also very sad to see the club have let so many of my friends go.
There have been massive cutbacks due to COVID-19 with the financial burden suffered by even the giants of European football'.
There has been a clear-out even at the elite level but Eastbourne's young superstar firmly keeps his place and is now the most decorated youth player at the club having won the most number of trophies.
He was also recently chosen from 50,000 participants to be in the big picture at Camp Nou ,a high honour for an 11-year-old'.
Ethan also expressed his delight after Lionel Messi decided to remain at Barca but was sad to see Luis Saurez go under a cloud as they both have been watching Ethan's matches regularly; showing support for the young prodigy.
He has enjoyed a wonderful first season with Barca claiming many trophies including the Barcelona World cup and scoring at Camp Nou. He has also enjoyed successful tournaments in France and Belgium. But his second season. came to a premature end due to the worldwide killer virus with planned overseas tournaments in Japan, Italy and Croatia all cancelled leaving the young star bitterly disappointed.
Ethan added,"I was totally gutted when everything came to a halt .Motivation was hard but now I have my buzz back and am raring to go.'
He now embarks on his third season as a Barca player and hopes he will retain the captain's armband.
Ethan spent the summer playing beach football; often with his younger brother, and starting his own u-tube channel; attracting 500 followers on Instagram, teaching soccer kicks and skills. He is also an ambassador for a global clothing company who are heavily involved in football projects. But the highlight of his summer was seeing his beloved Liverpool winning the Premier League title after a period of 30 years. Ironically, the last time he came back home was almost two years ago when he was mascot for the match between Brighton and Liverpool.
His parents, Greg and Emma are extremely proud of their son and are delighted to see him in action again after a dark period in all our lives..
The former Langney Sports and Brighton academy star wishes everyone well especially back in his home town of Eastbourne. He added that he is missing all his family and friends and was praying for everyone to be safe and hopes everything goes back to normal soon.