Dereham teenager reaches play-offs to represent Chelsea in Fifa e-Premier League
A 16-year-old Fifa prodigy from Dereham has made it to the quarter finals in heats to represent Chelsea in the newly formed ePremier League.
Harry Hunt, who played in the Norwich City elite player development squad, is a keen Chelsea fan.
When he heard the London heavyweights were recruiting for a representative to play Fifa in an e-Premier League, he jumped at the chance.
He qualified ninth out of 6,000 applicants, and was hosted at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to play in heats to win the chance to play for the team.
The ePL Final will be held on 28 and 29 March, in London, and broadcast live on Sky Sports and the Premier League’s digital channels.
Harry’s dad Steve, 52, said it was a “hell of an achievement”.
“He is a good footballer, he has played all his life and like lots of young kids, likes playing Fifa on the X-Box,” he said.
“They are creating an e-Premier League in which every team will have a representative across all the big platforms.
“He decided he was going to sign up for it. My wife and I each had a sideways glance at each other and thought this is not going to come to anything.”
Harry had to play a series of online matches for around a month, and came out ninth of the 6,000 entries for the Chelsea play-offs.
“The top 16 qualify and got seeded and would have to go down to Stamford Bridge and play for the final place,” added Mr Hunt.
“It was incredible. They hosted it in the Millennium Suite at Stamford Bridge and there are two banks of tables of eight consoles where players face off against each other. There are two commentators and Jason Cundy, an ex Chelsea player, was there as a pundit.
“Harry had to do a walk-up like you see the players do on Sky Sports, and had his player name on the back.
“He would play the first leg as the home and team and second leg as the away team. The games were televised and they would select one to show on the big screen and have commentary.”
While Mr Hunt said the whole set up struck him as “a bit strange”, he said after a few hours everyone got “sucked into it”.
“At one point there was a game going on between a pro gamer against an unseeded guy,” he said. “It was 1-1 and there was a break away goal and the place erupted. It was like being at a real football match.
“Harry won his first two games so he got drawn against a number one seed in the quarter finals, but he lost those games and went out in the quarter finals.
“He got down to the last eight out of 6,000 - it is a hell of an achievement. It was a real experience and there was no expense spared.”
Harry has a college place accepted and wants to go on to study sports coaching, while still playing football.
But his online footballing career may not be over.
“He said if Norwich City get promoted and get an e-sports team he may sign up for it,” added Mr Hunt.
“He is mindful of his education and he just loves playing football.”