STEVEN Horrocks is a rare commodity.
He's a left-sided footballer who qualifies for England.
The dearth of such players at full-international level is well documented and has caused no end of problems for Sven Goran Eriksson and his predecessors.
But Steven not only fits the bill of being left footed, he can play in all three positions on the flank - although he is a winger by preference.
And the rare skills of the 18-year-old from Runcorn have taken him to the brink of the England Schoolboy Under-18s squad.
He has already reached the last 32 and just spent a weekend at Lille-shall.
The Widnes & Runcorn Sixth Form College student hopes to be invited back for two more training camps in the New Year - the first being from January 9-11.
After that, the final 16-strong party will be announced.
Steven admits he has enjoyed the experience so far and is optimistic about his chances of being recalled.
Predictably, he was one of only two players with the credentials to play in that troublesome position on the left of midfield.
'I thought I played well and did what the coach said.
'We had training and then split the group of 32 into two teams and had two matches against each other,' he said.
Steven is in the second year of A-level studies in IT, business studies and PE at the sixth form college's Runcorn campus.
He says to make it as a professional footballer would be a 'dream come true'.
Last season, he turned out a couple of first-team appearances for Runcorn FC Halton and is currently plying his trade for Vauxhall Motors.
He is a member of the Ellesmere Port club's Lancashire League reserve side, coached by Runcornian Gary Siner.
Steven is one of five footballers from the Sixth Form College to have represented Cheshire Schools Under 19s this season.
The others are 17-year-old goal-keeper Michael Rooney, who was also invited to England trials, his fellow Liverpudlian John Turton, 16, plus Widnes-based duo Shaun Whalley, 16, and 17-year-old Shaun Parsonage.
Lee Lightfoot, PE teacher and football coach at the college, said: 'To get to the last 32 for the whole of the country is a wonderful achievement for Steven.
'Despite all his commitments with football, he's still very strong academically. He is a bright kid and a nice lad and deserves his success.'
The Widnes & Runcorn team have been going well in the England Schools FA U18 National Cup, with St Helens College providing their opposition in the last 32 yesterday.
They also play in Cheshire and North West Colleges competitions.
Mr Lightfoot added: 'We are doing really well again at football this year with quite a lot of strength in depth. We can put three teams out, which not many colleges are able to do, and, in fact, the third team are unbeaten.'