New Zealand U-17 defender Marley Leuluai has signed with English Premier League club Burnley after his departure from Manchester City.
Leuluai (16), the son of former rugby league player Kylie Leuluai, had been at the Manchester City academy since 2013, but was not offered a contract at the end of last season.
After a trial with Scottish giants Rangers, Leuluai trained at Burnley and has now been signed as a first-year scholar for the club’s U-18 youth team.
Main photo: Marley Leuluai signs for English Premier League club Burnley. Photo credit: Burnley FC.
Of the 14 players signed as first-year scholars, Leuluai is one of only three that have not developed through Burnley’s academy.
The others are goalkeeper Felix Chester and Adam Abbas, both signed from Manchester United.
In England, players can not sign professional contracts till they turn 17.
Leuluai turns 17 in November.
Leuluai captained New Zealand in their opening game at the U-17 OFC Championshp in Fiji in January.
However, an injury disrupted the rest of his tournament, and he was sidelined.
Marley Leuluai was born in England while his league-playing father was between contracts with the Warrington Wolves and the Leeds Rhinos.
Marley Leuluai started playing football when he was seven, and he was spotted by scouts at a tournament.
He was first offered academy training with Blackburn Rovers but was soon on his way to Manchester City.