TALENTED: Ashton van der Vent, 17, from Athlone is a club star

The mother of a young soccer player who scored a golden opportunity to play the beautiful game in England worries her son won’t raise enough money in time.

Goalkeeper Ashton van der Vent, 17, was selected to represent his soccer club in a football exchange programme, and is due to leave in October.

But with just over two months before the full R30 900 has to be paid and with a shortfall of nearly R17 000, his mother fears that he may miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The 17-year-old from Bokmakierie will have a chance to represent Athlone club Trinity Spurs Development Football Club, in a school and football exchange programme to play with three high-level performance schools and professional academics in the UK.

His mother Mary van der Vent says she’s started selling kos in a desperate bid to raise the funds.

“A lot of people helped him with the soccer boots and gloves and that was really great,” the mom tells the Daily Voice.

“But we still need to raise lots of money; it’s coming in very slowly.

“We managed to raise R5 500 at a fundraising dance and someone donated R5000 after seeing his story [in the Daily Voice].”

She says a crowdfunding account has also been started for Ashton on the Back-a-Buddy website.

“We also raised R3 500 through online fundraising. Every bit of money we get, we make sure we pay it in because we don’t want to sit with any money that is meant to go towards raising funds,” she adds.

The mother is determined to give her talented son a shot at greatness, and has now started a take-aways at home, hoping to raise more geld.

“I have started making and selling boerewors rolls to raise money,” she says.

“I told my husband even if I have to sell outside nightclubs until 4am on weekends, that’s what I’ll do to raise the money.

“There are people who disappointed us but we are thankful to those who have helped us so far,” she adds.

Ashton has just over two months before the full amount is due.

Anyone who would like to assist the family can contact Mandy on 076 831 1812, or make a Back-a-buddy donation here.