Albert Adomah was 16 when he turned up for a trial at Harrow Borough’s reserves.

At that age, most players with obvious talent who would one day go on to appear at the World Cup would already be in the system, part of a decent-sized club’s academy having been scouted by one of the ruthless talent machines that seeks out promising young players and piles them up, like excess stock in a warehouse.

But Adomah, one of about 90 hopefuls that arrived that day, was not asked back, lost among the throngs trying to get into the game. A couple of months later though, wounds suitably licked, he went back for another trial at Harrow, this time for the youth team. This time he was successful, and before too long he was playing for the reserves that only a short time earlier had rejected him.

There was a problem though. He had continued turning out for Old Meadonians, a team based in Chiswick, West London that plays in the Amateur Combinations League, with whom…



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