HOT-SHOT Ellis Harling is Jordan Rhodes’ number one fan – and now the rookie striker could be following in his tracks after the Moorland School pupil was picked to represent Manchester City’s junior development squad.

The 12-year-old, a Year Eight pupil at the Clitheroe School, plays for Mellor Juniors U13s and is one of their rising stars.

“I was surprised and delighted to be picked for Manchester City’s development squad, and I’ve learned a lot from Mr Jackson, our coach at Moorland, and Ben Howard, who coaches me at Mellor Juniors,” said Ellis, from Sunny Bower.

Ellis, who has scored over 20 goals for Mellor Juniors this season, including six in one match in a Lancashire Cup tie, added: “I’ve played football since I was seven and my favourite position is centre-forward, although I can play in midfield too.

“I love the game and Jordan Rhodes at Blackburn Rovers is the player I like to watch most of all because he is such a fantastic goal-scorer.

“I know it is very hard to be a professional, but that is my dream.”

Jackson has played a major role in Moorland forging a reputation for nurturing young talent, with Manchester United striker John Cofie joining Burnley from the Clitheroe school, before his switch to Old Trafford in 2007.

Moorland School Headteacher Jonathan Harrison also praised his star pupil and said: “Ellis has done superbly well to reach this level and we are very proud of his achievements.”