MILES Bartram – the son of former Cherries goalkeeper Vince Bartram – will follow in his father’s footsteps when he turns out for a Wembley final a week on Saturday.
The youngster has helped St James’ Church of England Primary School under-11s reach the last two of the Football League Kids Cup, where they will face Bolton School before the Championship play-off final between Derby and QPR.
Miles will appear at the home of English football 14 years after his father featured in the Gillingham side that secured Division Two play-off glory at the expense of Wigan Athletic.
On the losing side with Gills against Manchester City the previous season in the corresponding fixture, Bartram Snr played his part in a 3-2 extra- time victory over the Latics.
Now a goalkeeping coach at Premier League Southampton, Vince made 162 appearances for Cherries between 1991 and 1994 before going on to become David Seaman’s understudy at Arsenal and later moving on to Priestfield in 1998.
His son has proved a chip off the old block by donning the gloves and Vince, 45, is proud of the role the 11-year-old has played in the run to Wembley.
The ex-Dean Court stopper told the Daily Echo: “There are professional footballers that never have the chance to play at Wembley and it will be a great experience for him. I hope that one day he looks back and really appreciates it.
“I saw the team play up at Reading in the qualifying tournament and the further they got, the more nerve-wracking it became.
“I was probably more nervous watching him there than I was actually playing at Wembley myself.”
Vince revealed that Miles had not always been so keen to follow in the family tradition of goalkeeping, but that he was now beginning to enjoy the position.
“When Miles was younger I did some coaching with him at a soccer school of mine and then he actually went off goalkeeping for a bit,” said Vince.
“He was signed up at Bournemouth with their under- nines academy team and a week before the season he said he didn’t want to play in goal any more.
“He plays outfield for Bournemouth Electric Under-11s and it’s only Alastair Brown, the teacher at his school, who manages to get him to play in goal regularly.
“Miles has got the bug for that position again so from my point of view, I’m delighted at that, although I just want to him to enjoy the game no matter where he plays.”