Griffin is still beaming after making the step up to the Cleveland Schools’ squad along with fellow Year 9 students Frankie Coulson and Ollie Duthie.
Coulson and Duthie are being coached by former Premier League captain Lee Cattermole at Middlesbrough’s Academy and were part of the squad announced by Cleveland Schools’ selectors too.
Griffin was the third Dyke House footballer named in that group and the 14-year-old goalkeeper has been rewarded with a promotion to the school’s Elite Development Squad scholarship programme.
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The former West View Primary pupil said: “It was the best football I have played and to have Ollie and Frankie there with me made it easier to settle.
“I believe it was a record that there were seven from Hartlepool overall in the squad, including us from Dyke House.
“We actually played Middlesbrough Academy in a friendly and Frankie scored both goals. They are something to look up to really because I would love to reach a club’s academy by the end of the year.”
The three players helped Dyke House reach the last four of the English Schools’ National Cup before Covid-19 struck last year.
Griffin’s performances in that cup run were crucial, highlighting how he has developed.
His PE teacher and football coach, Joseph Palmer, said: “For as long as I can remember I have never known three from the same age group get selected for the county at Dyke House.
“I am particularly pleased for Alex who got overlooked in the town team. Alex‘s progress is a sign of how much the Elite Development Squad has worked for him because it has driven him on.”
Griffin was one of 16 players picked from a trial group of 36. He played against Middlesbrough Academy and West Yorkshire.
He added: “I wasn’t nervous. It was a good experience and I did alright. I only let one in during both games and I really enjoyed it.”
His achievements are more impressive considering he had to overcome a really nasty injury when he was younger.
Griffin, who has been coached by Paul Pringle and Andy Collett too, explained: “I started playing for Crest aged six and I was there for two year. I did my knee though. I was out for six months when I dived on something that was on the floor, it was a deep cut and needed plenty of stitches.
“I have also played for Seaton, Saxon, Greatham and now I am at Stockton Royals. I love it and I feel like I am getting better and better. Being called up for the county has given me even more confidence.”
For further information on the Elite Development Squad at Dyke House email [email protected]