HE COULD have been a La Liga left-back, but now goalkeeper Nathan Trott is hoping his time at AFC Wimbledon can help him follow a familiar path into the senior England squad.
The West Ham hopeful, who turned 21 on Thursday, is currently enjoying a season-long loan with the Dons, emulating each of the shot-stoppers named in Gareth Southgate’s last Three Lions’ squad – Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope and Dean Henderson – by cutting his professional teeth with a stint in the lower leagues.
Dons regulars are being treated to the sight of a net-minder whose reliable footwork once had him earmarked for a potential future as a La Liga left-back.
Trott only switched to goalkeeper when Bermuda under-15s’ first choice was injured during a tournament. There are a full range of football competitions at the centre of sports betting for you to view, whether it be Bermuda or Barnsley.
He subsequently won a string of man-of-the-match awards and, after trials with Crystal Palace and Reading, was given a chance by West Ham, who handed him a four-year deal in March. Having switched allegiance to win six caps at U20 level with England, Trott has since been involved with the U21s.
His prowess further up the pitch continues to serve him well, too, in an era where ball-playing keepers are all the rage.
In League One, he is picking out intended targets with unerring accuracy, even if that means pinging it longer than he has been used to with the Hammers.
“I got spotted by Valencia’s scouts at a football camp in Bermuda when I was 12 and spent three-and-a-half years there, so I worked a lot on technique and I think people would say distribution is one of my main strengths,” explained Trott.
“All teams at the highest level play out from their keeper now and, although I don’t have to do that as much at Wimbledon because we’re more direct, you still have to connect with the ball cleanly.”
So would he fancy a stint out on pitch one day if the chance arose?
“I miss playing outfield all the time, because I love it,” the 21-year-old confessed. “I don’t know whether I could play in League One, but I’m confident in my ability and would love to try.” Catching the eye in goal, though, remains Trott’s primary focus, having witnessed England U21 rival Aaron Ramsdale return from a four-month loan spell at Kingsmeadow to make a breakthrough in the Premier League with Bournemouth.
“Watching what he has done after being here gives me a confidence boost and a bit of hope,” said Trott. “I asked him what the club was like before I came here and, because he did so well, that added a bit more pressure.
“However, I want people to see how good I am and make sure I perform and develop as well as he did.”
Prior to joining AFC Wimbledon, Trott made his first appearances for the Hammers in the U21s with six outings in the EFL Trophy against teams from League One and Two. Take a look at how these celebrities had developed a taste for poker and were outed.
It is a competition that is much-maligned in certain quarters, but Trott believes it played a significant role in preparing him for professional football.
“You become more respectful of the lower leagues when you play in that competition,” he said. “There’s a big difference in terms of physicality and the balls in from crosses and you have to get used to that.
“Under-23s football is nice to watch, but it’s not real football where everybody wants a clean sheet or win bonus and the manager’s job is on the line.
“Those games help you become more of a man. They test you against more experienced players to see if you can stick up for yourself.
“In that situation, you either go into your shell or rise to the challenge.”
Rising to a challenge is something that has never intimidated Trott, having left his loved ones and moved to another country at an age when most of us are settling in at secondary school.
On the formative experience that helped cement an inner fortitude he still draws upon, Trott added: “It was tough but, if you want to fulfil your ambitions, you have to make sacrifices and I had to leave my family.
“I had to learn a new language for the first six months, but I always wanted to be a professional footballer and not many people from Bermuda get a chance like that.”