Promising Manchester City goalkeeper James Trafford has spoken of how his upbringing on a Cumbrian farm keeps him grounded.

The England youth keeper is currently on loan with Bolton Wanderers in League One.

And 19-year-old Trafford, who has started life with Bolton with back-to-back clean sheets, attributes his work ethic to his childhood in Greysouthen.

Speaking to the Bolton News, Trafford said: “Working hard and being disciplined has been drilled into me since I was young.

“It comes from my family, really, because they are all farmers. 

“No-one does anything else apart from farming in my family, apart from my older cousin who is a dentist, and even that was a bit frowned upon!  

“He should have either been a farmer or a jockey, and it was similar to me.  

“I still have to explain a few things to my dad, like the offside rule, because he doesn’t really know much about football...

“It is only since I started playing at seven or eight that he had to take any notice at all but it is a good job he did or all those Sunday mornings playing at Frenchfields [in Penrith] when I was at Carlisle [United] would have felt really long...

“Being farmers, my mum and dad are lambing at the moment so they get up every three hours to go out and check the sheep. All that has been bred into me; be disciplined and to just work as hard as you can, really.”

Trafford was on United's youth books until the age of 12, when he was snapped up by Man City.

He has risen through the ranks at the Premier League champions and was on the bench for the first team last season, earning praise from Pep Guardiola along the way.

After making his Football League debut in an 11-game loan spell at Accrington Stanley in the first half of the season, he joine Bolton earlier this month.

Trafford started with shut-outs against Ipswich Town and Shrewsbury Town - and is now preparing to face Sunderland at the University of Bolton Stadium this weekend.

He has already become the first goalkeeper since Simon Farnworth in 1983 to keep a clean sheet in his first two games for Bolton. 

The teenager sayas that, before getting into football, he imagined he would follow his family into farming.

“I always really enjoyed being on the farm and when I was in secondary school, if I wasn’t working hard, I was like, ‘I’m going to be a farmer, I don’t need these grades!’

"So that was my excuse, anyway, and maybe if football doesn’t work out, I will go into farming.

“We have cows but we don’t milk them. We have sheep that we lamb. We grow crops so in the off-season I do tend to help out. 

“I just tend to sit on the combine with my dad or lead barley with my dad, so he goes into the field with his trailer and gets the barley and drives. I just sit in with him because I just enjoy it as it’s what I used to do when I was a real young lad.  

“Before I learned to drive I had to drive a tractor around the fields. It’s something I enjoy doing in the off-season and not reminiscing, but just a reminder of the good times when I was younger.”  

Trafford said it was a "no-brainer" to join Bolton in his quest for more first-team experience.


He added: “When I came out to Bolton I discussed it with the goalie staff at City and they wanted me to play – but also to develop as a person, just get into the mindset of being a pro. 

“You have to be at it every day, no matter whether you are enjoying it or not. And you have to perform in front of thousands at the weekend because when you are at this level there are no small crowds anymore.

"You have to handle the pressure that comes with it.”