A PRESTON teenager's dream of playing in Euro 2000 could be scuppered -- because the tournament clashes with his GCSEs.

Andy Lonergan, 16, from Ribbleton, made such an impression during recent games for the under17 England side that he is almost certainly going to be called up for the squad in the junior version of Euro 2000 in May.

But any dream he has of playing for England in the competition, in Israel, may have to be put on ice because he will be sitting his GCSEs at St Cecilia's High School in Longridge.

Andy's dad Mick said: "We have said all along that studying and passing exams are the most important things for him at the moment.

"He played very well on the recent trip, but we have yet to find out when he will have to sit his exams. "It looks likely that he will have to miss the trip, which would be a massive blow."

Andy, pictured, who has been offered a youth contract with Preston North End next season, helped the England side qualify for the mini Euro 2000 tournament with good games between the sticks against Luxembourg and Andorra, who they beat 8-0.

In the West Indies the team beat Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago, followed by a draw against the USA last Thursday.

But while the rest of his friends were lapping up the sunshine Andy was behind closed doors, catching up on his studies.

Mick added: "A tutor went out with him so he didn't get behind with his studies. He has done really well, but his education is number one."

The choice between studies and football isn't the first tough decision Andy has had to make. Last year, after being allowed to play for both England and Ireland he was told that, once he was 16, he would have to choose just one of the countries to play for.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.