His surname may rhyme with their deadliest rivals but talented Shirebrook Academy footballer Kieran Darby is looking to a bright future with Nottingham Forest after he was chosen to represent the club in an overseas tour.
Fifteen-year-old Kieran, who is a Year 10 pupil at the school, in Common Lane – and also a Derby County fan – is a member of the Reds’ Under-15s squad and will be travelling to take part in a cup tournament in Portugal, beginning on June 23.
It will be the second time in two months that Kieran, a striker, has packed his passport alongside his boots, having played for Forest during a youth tournament held in Hungary earlier this month.
Forest, despite their players being a year younger than their rivals, more than held their own, finishing the tournament in fifth place with Kieran enjoying his best game against the hosts, Ferencevaros, scoring two goals and providing an assist as Forest ran out 3-1 winners.
Now he is looking forward to seeing what he can do in Portugal, rounding off his season in style following a frustrating time on the sidelines with an injury.
Kieran, a former Clipstone player, signed for Forest’s Under-15s last year after a club scout watched him scoring six goals in one game. He juggles his school work in amongst training three times a week – with a game at weekends - attending Forest’s Wilford Lane training ground, just a free kick’s distance from the City Ground in Nottingham.
He said: “I really enjoyed the tour in Hungary, it was a great experience because you had to learn to be independent and prepare your kit yourself, while we were up against players who were bigger and stronger than we were, which took some getting used to. I’m really looking forward to going to Portugal now.”
He added: “I come from a family of Derby fans and my granddad said that he would switch to supporting Forest if I ever played for the first team. The rivalry doesn’t bother them, they have always been very supportive of me, no matter who I play for.”