21-year old Birmingham-born striker Lewis Allen is making all the headlines for CD Torrevieja, having scored five goals in his last four matches with the team’s season showing signs of a dramatic turnaround. Lewis, who lives in Pilar de la Horadada, is in red hot form and despite being five foot six inches tall, he’s giving defenders throughout the Valencian region a thorough going over, and he’s given The Courier an exclusive glimpse into his career so fair, with hopefully much more to come!!
“I started playing soccer at a very young age, basically when I started to walk. My brother played football and I would go to every training session and run around the pitch with a ball at my feet. At the age of five, I started playing properly in league football, making a good start and always scoring goals .If I did not score in a game, I would get annoyed with myself! From around seven, I always played with boys a year older than me as the manager believed I was talented enough to that, getting interest from Midland sides like Stoke, Port Vale and Walsall. I scored a goal all the way from the half-way line aged eight in the final of a tournament, watched by a Manchester United scout who got me to go on trial there. Everything went well at Old Trafford and they wanted to sign me, but that year was the year I moved out here to Spain, and my life changed.”
“We moved over here in 2004. It it all started because my Aunty moved out here and my dad come over to visit her and he asked us if we wanted to move out to Spain and we all said yes! I settled in very well at school and there were some English boys that helped me at the start but I learned Spanish very quickly and made many Spanish friends. I started playing here at my home town side of Pilar de la Horadada and the local Charlton Athletic team, where I scored 99 goals in Alevins and missed out on winning the League against Torrevieja CF.”
“Aged 15, I signed for the Elche-based Torrellano Illice who played in the highest league for under-16s, taking on the likes of Valencia and Villarreal. I finished as the league’s top scorer and was voted the best striker. That season was great for me and I was training with the Torrellano Illice first team who were playing in the third division alongside teams like CD Torrevieja.”
“The following year I had trials at Newcastle United but things didn’t work out the way I had hoped, and I was gutted when they said I was a bit too small to be a striker. I was unhappy and just felt as I wasn’t good enough, but that’s life and I returned to Spain as a 17-year-old.
Fortunately, my current boss at Torrevieja, Pedreno, took me on at UD Horadada and I started playing men’s football at a young age, starting every game the year after. I signed my first three year contract at Elche C.F. playing in the highest league for the under-18’s. After turning 19, I was playing football again with Elche combined with Santa Pola who were in the Preferente group 4 (one below Torry). I also finished top goal scorer in the team and finished the eight highest goal scorer in the league overall, which was very good as I was the youngest striker in the league!”
“I then had a stroke of bad luck trying to get my foot in back in the UK, as the under-21’s manager at Brentford said that he wanted to sign me after some trials, but it never happened as they sacked him, and he was my main backer! I just felt that football wasn’t going to be my thing and that I never had any good luck. I felt like giving up but I listened to my girlfriend and my parents telling me to never give up on your dreams, and so I trained harder and harder the following summer, under I got a call from my old boss, Pedreno, who told me that he wanted to sign me for his new club, CD Torrevieja in the third division. I knew that Torry was a club that has always been close to getting promoted to the 2b division and I thought it was a great opportunity to keep following my dreams to be a professional footballer.”
“At the start of this season, I wasn’t getting picked for the team but I carried on training hard to try to get into the side. I finally got my regular starting spot, but I started playing out on the wing which is not my best position. I had a chat with the manager and asked him to give me a chance playing as the main striker, number nine, and it’s paying off! I have played four games as the centre-forward and netted five goals, and I hope this is the start of even better things to come. I want to score more, and to train even harder to get people to watch and for a full-time professional club to sign me here in Spain. That is my dream and I want to have a big part as well in helping CD Torrevieja achieve all of their goals and aspirations”