SOUTHBOURNE teenager Lewis Chambers is already used to rubbing shoulders with the stars.

But he is poised to embark on a Stateside adventure that could end with him besieged by autograph hunters, rather being the one asking for signatures.

Chambers has won a football scholarship at Colorado State University-Pueblo. A centre-back with Wessex Premier Hamworthy United, Chambers dazzled in a trial match against an Arsenal academy team.

The 17-year-old also caught the eye alongside his fellow hopefuls when they took on young Millwall and Dagenham & Redbridge sides.

His reward is four years across the pond, where he will join a team that competes on the second rung of American university football, in the magnificently titled Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

For someone with little experience of travelling overseas it could be a daunting prospect, but that is not how Chambers views it.

He told the Daily Echo: “If I went to university in England I would probably have to stop playing football. In America it is central to everything they do, they train four or five days a week, so that is a massive factor in my decision.

“It is a huge step but I am quite extrovert, so it suits my personality. It is just another stepping stone towards fulfilling my dream of having a good time and playing football!

“I have actually only been abroad twice. I went to Spain with my family when I was about four, then played in a football tournament in France.”

Chambers’ break came through Soccer Assist, a company that facilitates scholarship opportunities for talented youngsters.

He impressed scouts with a playing style reminiscent of a current England international and honed in the harum-scarum environment of men’s football.

“I aim to be a traditional centre-back, with modern day qualities: like John Stones, that style of play,” says Chambers, who will study business management in the States.

“Not just your standard, let’s beat up some strikers and punt the ball forward-type of defender.

“I made nine or 10 appearances for Hamworthy this season, which I was happy with, because it is hard to get a look in as a young defender.

“The men’s game is far more competitive and physical than youth football. And it helps you develop a better understanding of the game.

“Players are being paid and the stakes are much higher.”

Chambers leaves England on August 12. The St Peter’s Catholic Comprehensive School student’s more recent focus, however, has been on A-Level exams in business studies, PE and psychology.

Rather than put his feet up this summer, Chambers will work extra shifts at fish and chip restaurant Chez Fred – a regular haunt for the famous – to ensure he arrives in America with a healthy bank balance.

“I served Harry and Jamie Redknapp recently,” says Chambers. “That was pretty cool. I nearly forgot their meals, I was more worried about getting their autographs!”

Maybe one day, Harry and Jamie will boast about the time they had their dinner dished up by Lewis Chambers.