FINLEY Grigg has completed a shock switch to Premier League champions Manchester City.

The Hockley based 15-year-old goalkeeper caught the eye of City while on trial with West Ham United.

But he initially thought Manchester City’s interest was his dad’s idea of a joke.

“It took me a while for it to sink in and my first reaction was, stop winding me up dad,” laughed Finley.

“I decided it was a good idea to go and I haven’t looked back since.

“I’m really excited about it.

“I have worked hard for this but the real work starts now.”

Finley, who attended Rayleigh’s FitzWimarc School, has put pen to paper on a deal with City.

But he must first work his way back to full fitness.

“I’ve had a slight fracture to my second metatarsal which will keep me out for seven to eight weeks roughly so it’s been a bit frustrating so far,” said Finley.

“However I am really looking forward to be playing next season.”

Finley’s only previous experience of a professional set-up came at Southend United.

But the youngster spent just two seasons with the Shrimpers.

“I got released after two years there because my mentality wasn’t right,” said Finley.

“I was always throwing tantrums or arguing and ,in general, didn’t want to be there.

“In hindsight, my ADHD probably affected my performance as it hadn’t been diagnosed yet so I decided it was best for me to leave goalkeeping and play outfield.

“I didn’t plan to go back, so I moved to my local team Hawkwell then wanted a new challenge and wanted to play in a different position.”

But Finley soon ended up going back in goal.

“When I was at Billericay under 14s I was good mates with the goalkeeper there and just got the bug again,” said Finley.

“I decided around halfway through the 22/23 season I wanted to go back in goal again, so I trained individually and with Ben Bradford’s goalkeeping academy.”

And that soon led to more opportunities coming Finley’s way.

“Under 15s was a very busy age group for me because I wanted to go professional again,” said Finley.

“My dad and I signed up to many clubs and opportunities.

“I went to Chelsea’s IRP program around May to August ,which was good and I did quite well.

“But I probably wasn’t that ready and they signed another keeper so there was no demand anymore.”

However, Finley continued to work hard in pursuit of more opportunities.

“I went on trial for a JPL team, NLS, who played on a Saturday so I could also play on a Sunday with EJA side Heybridge Swifts,” said Finley.

“I also got into the JPL rep team, which is the best JPL players in the league so I played for them a few times.

“I was playing Saturday, Sunday training Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday so they were long weeks but I enjoyed them.

“I also did a Tottenham development thing for a few weeks until West Ham gave me a trial.

“I was there Monday, Tuesday, Thursday so now my whole week was full of football.”

Finley spent seven weeks with the Hammers but eventually opted to take up his opportunity with City.

“I was offered a few more weeks on trial, however that would mean I couldn’t go up to Manchester City, so in the end, I declined to extend the trial period,” said Finley.

“But I finished the season with Heybridge as league winners after winning every game, except for a draw and a loss in the county cup, so I would say it was a successful season.

“I can’t wait for what’s next now.”