Aari off to the UK

At 13, Aari Bouboulos is about to jet off to play club football in England.

The Padstow player will be overseas for two years and possibly longer, and will attend school in northern England.

But before he can leave, he has to help carry his Metro South team to victory in the NSW state finals.

It is the third time Aari has been selected for the titles that run from July 3 to 7.

He will leave for England the day after and Aari told The Express he was a “bit nervous” but “really excited” to play in the UK.

Aari began playing football when he was four.

He joined Bankstown Berries and for the past three years has been under the wing of Metro South coach Christian Layland.

It was during a successful tour to England in September 2016 with the Australian Youth Football Institute that he was offered the chance to stay for six months.

Aari Bouboulos, 13, outside Manchester United last year.

During this time, Aari had one of the highlights of his football career — playing against the Manchester United academy at Carrington and winning 3-1.

But whether he is on the field in England or Australia, he has a strong support base cheering him from the sidelines.

“Aari is a young, talented and versatile player with a fantastic attitude,” Layland said.

“He has worked hard in the state titles program so far and has show a strong willingness to learn. I look forward to watching him grow further as a player as he continues to analyse his performances, in training and matches, and challenges himself to improve.”

His determination has made him this week’s Local Sports Star nominee for Junior Sports Star ­Individual.

LSS has five categories: Junior Sports Star Individual, Junior Sports Stars Team, Young Sporting Spirit Individual, Young Sporting Spirit Team and Service to Sport.