Gorman managing to balance the books
Teenage star Johnny Gorman is taking important strides in his education on and off the pitch as he enjoys life on tour with Northern Ireland. The Wolves academy winger picked up his first cap at the age of 17 years and 212 days in Wednesday's 2-0 defeat to Turkey in Connecticut before flying with Nigel Worthington's squad overnight to Santiago ahead of Sunday night's friendly with Chile. Having savoured his first 68 minutes of international football at New Britain's Veterans Memorial Stadium, he was bracing himself for a return to his school books as he continues to revise for the A Level English Literature exams that await him on his return to Repton School in England. Gorman, on a scholarship at Repton, will miss his Physical Education A Level exam on Friday after being given permission by the school to take it in January but still has plenty of revision to cram in before returning to class after a five-day absence. "I've finished my art exam, and I'm missing my PE exam, which was going to be on Friday, and my next exam is English Literature, which is the second day I get back to school," he said. "So I've got books with me now to be revising, Pride and Prejudice, it's the bane of my life, I can't stand it, and then William Wordsworth's poetry." Gorman is determined to continue his twin-track approach for another year at least. He added: "I've got another year (at school) to do my A2s and I want to carry on what I've been doing this year, half football, half school, just until I get my education sorted out to where I want it to be. "Then after that, I want to try to progress with Wolves and see where I can go from there." In the meantime, the Sheffield-born winger is enjoying his time on tour in the Americas. "It was an achievement even to be here so to get my first cap that's even better and it was unexpected. "I'm just happy to have played. "Hopefully it's the first of many caps for Northern Ireland so I'll see where it takes me from here." Gorman said his instructions ahead of the tour from Northern Ireland manager Worthington had been straight-forward. "When I spoke to him on the phone he just said 'enjoy yourself, take as much of the experience of it as you can'. "Before the game he said to me 'just play your normal game, put the crosses in and shots and most of all enjoy it', which I have done." The teenager said he had received lots of support from the rest of the squad, particularly captain Stephen Craigan. "Everybody has been pretty welcoming. I feel part of the team and experienced players like Craigan have been speaking to me quite a lot on the pitch about things which has been very helpful, not just for that match but my football in general in the future." Worthington was more than pleased with the debut performances of both Gorman and Michael Bryan, the 20-year-old Watford midfielder who replaced him on the right wing for the final 22 minutes against Turkey. "It's a development group, we're looking at people. The two youngsters in Gorman and Bryan, I've been very pleased with their input in their first time out and it's a good exercise, I'm very pleased with it," Worthington said. The manager said that all 17 players in the squad would again see action on Sunday against the World Cup-bound Chileans, although he would see how each one reacted to playing against the Turks in temperatures that peaked at 103 degrees Fahrenheit at pitch level. "It's down to the recovery from the game because without a doubt it's taken a lot out of the players," he said. "So it's their recovery. We'll give them a bit of down time on Thursday afternoon and evening and then get ready again for Sunday. "All the players will get some football. We'd love to win games and score goals so we'll go with what we think will give us a good, steady start and look at it from there. "There were no knocks, just tired minds and bodies."
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