MOSSLEY schoolgirl Gracie Naggs has suffered an unlucky break just as her football career was taking off.
After recently signing for Stockport County and with trials at Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United on the horizon, the 12-year-old goalkeeper has broken her wrist.
And ironically the freak injury was not sustained playing the game she loves.
Mum Janine explained: “Gracie was playing with a friend who was on a rope swing.
“She would not go on the swing for the fear of being injured but, while she passed the rope to her friend, she slipped down the embankment and broke her wrist.”
And with trials at Blackburn and Manchester United due to be held in June, Mossley Hollins High School pupil Gracie is set to miss out.
Gracie started playing football while at St Joseph’s as Janine explained: “Gracie was probably in Year 4 when she began at school.
“The boys didn’t want her to play with them so shoved her in goal and that is how she became a goalkeeper.
“It is funny because when boys are playing in the park she will offer to go in goal. They get a surprise when they start smashing balls at her and they see how good she is.”
Gracie began playing for Mossley Juniors, Winton Diamond Warriors and Stockport County for whom she made her debut on Easter Saturday in a 6-0 win against Ashton-on-Mersey when she made a series of great saves to keep a clean sheet.
Manchester City and England goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck is Gracie’s hero and she avidly follows her career.
Janine said: “Gracie’s big dream is to become a professional like Ellie.
“We go to Manchester City Ladies’ games at the Academy Stadium where Ellie watches the goalkeepers warming up to pick up tips.
“We also went to watch them in the derby against United, the first women’s match to be played at the Etihad.”
It ought to be no surprise that Gracie loves football as her dad Glenn was a talented player.
Glenn starred as a centre half and central midfield player for Fletcher Moss Juniors, the team that produced Marcus Rashford and a multitude of other top players.
He later played semi-professionally for Abbey Hey and Altrincham before his playing days were cut short through injury.
And Gracie’s brother and sister are also footballers, Myla, 11, also plays for Mossley Juniors while Billy, 7, has just joined a newly formed junior team in Diggle.