Moray schoolboy is Dons' goalscoring sensation
ABERDEEN Football Club have unearthed a scoring sensation in a 13-year-old Moray schoolboy who has clocked up 60 goals in his debut season for his heroes.
Elgin High pupil Liam Harvey scored 11 consecutive hat-tricks for the Dons’ under-13s, smashing in goals against the cream of Celtic, Liverpool, Rangers and Swansea City’s youth teams.
A sensational goal from the halfway line against Hibernian was voted the club’s moment of the month for September, as voted for by Dons fans ahead of the Pittodrie outfit’s first-team exploits.
Yet Dons fan Liam was rejected by his favourite team when he first gained trials two years ago, and had to knuckle down in the Elgin City youth ranks to gain his second chance.
Liam’s dad David, who played Highland League for Elgin as a teenager, has been stunned by the impact made by his son at Aberdeen.
“He was actually late getting into football and never kicked a ball until primary four,” he said. “I couldn’t get him to play and I thought there was something wrong with him.
“But he’s just taken off and when I see some of the goals he’s scoring, I don’t know how he does it.”
After scoring on his Dons debut at Dundee United, Liam initially became tired of all the travelling and told his family he wanted to quit and go back to Elgin to play with his mates.
A heart-to-heart with his father saw him return to the Dons, where his scoring has been nothing short of prolific.
He scored three times in a match against Kilmarnock which began a run of 11 consecutive hat-tricks.
When his run was ended by a two-goal haul in his next game, he netted four against Dundee united to make it 39 goals in 13 games and keep up his three-a-game average.
Tall for his age, Liam is also blessed with lightning pace and in recent fitness tests at Aberdeen he was the youth academy’s second-fastest sprinter over 40 yards, beating 17-year-olds.
In his first tourney with the Dons at St Andrews he led his team to a 2-0 victory over Rangers in the final.
A few weeks later he flew out with his squad to Dublin to play in a competition with some leading English club’s youth teams.
After netting a hat-trick against Swansea and a brace against Liverpool, he added two more in the final for a 2-0 success against Celtic.
Then came his big moment, scoring a goal which has went viral on the internet. He took kick-off in a youth match against Hibs and lofted the ball straight over the Edinburgh side’s goalkeeper into the net from the centre circle.
“I didn’t really know much about it,” said Liam.
“It just went in and I turned around and saw everybody running towards me. I’ve tried it once or twice before but that was the first time I scored.”
That achievement meant he beat first-team stars such as Niall McGinn and keeper Joe Lewis to the best club moment for September, the first player outside the first team to achieve that feat.
Liam plays his final game of the season at home to Hamilton on Sunday, and next term he moves up to the 15s or possibly even the 16s, opening up the chance of a Scotland cap at under-16 level in the future.
“It would mean a lot to play for Scotland. This season has gone far better than I expected but being here as made my game sharper and improved my off-the-ball work as well.
“My dad’s advice is to keep working hard and my coaches (including former Don Derek Young) tell me I’m doing well and just to stick in.”
Football runs in the Harvey family with Liam’s brother Lewis (12) recently scoring a hat-trick for Elgin City.
“He’s proud of his brother and when he scored his hat-trick, Liam went into his bedroom and said ‘well done’, so they are good together,” David said.