MARCUS Beauchamp and Olly Mehew have gone from studying for their GCSEs at Winterbourne International Academy to launching their football careers at Championship clubs.
Striker Mehew has joined Blackburn Rovers, while goalkeeper Beauchamp has signed for Norwich City.
Beauchamp started attracting the interest of bigger clubs when he was 14-years-old and has had trial spells at Liverpool, Arsenal, Blackburn and Chelsea this year.
However, Norwich swooped in and agreed a fee with Bristol Rovers to take the 16-year-old to Carrow Road and he started his two-year scholarship contract last week.
Dave Beauchamp believes his son is in good hands at Norwich, who won the FA Youth Cup last year and spent three years in the Premier League before being relegated last season.
“Norwich have a very good youth setup,” he said.
“If you go to Chelsea you’ve got to be world class to go near the first team, but Norwich have had ex-youth graduates appear in the first team.
“He moved up there a week ago. He’s very settled, excited, confident and self-assured. He’s delighted to move up there and is raring to go.”
Mehew and Beauchamp have played with each other at Bristol Rovers from the age of ten and are close pals.
Beauchamp started as an outfield player for Bromley Heath under-7s and was soon being scouted by Bristol Rovers before joining them two years later.
He went in goal purely by chance when a team-mate was out injured in the under-10s and he has never looked back since, although he continued to play on pitch for Winterbourne International Academy and was at centre-back when they played in the FA National Schools’ FA Cup final at Derby County’s Pride Park Stadium.
Mehew captained that Year 10 side and their moves come just a year after two other members of that team, Jacob Maddox and Kyle Scott, joined Chelsea.
Head of PE Anthony Hopkins said: “Both boys were part of the very successful team that made it to the national schools final in 2013.
“They are outstanding players that have always shown enormous potential and we are very proud of them.
“We are also proud that WIA keeps producing the kind of talent that is good enough to be professional.
“Kyle Scott and Jacob Maddox were also part of the same team and both play for England and Chelsea FC.”