By Tivy-Side reporter

At the age of ten Liam Doherty of Cardigan was making strides in the football world as a member of Cardiff City Academy, but was dealt a devastating blow when diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, was hospitalised and forced to give up the game.

That was nearly eight years ago when, after a break from the game, he fought back against the autoimmune disease to play junior football for the village of Penparc near Cardigan before graduating to Cardigan Town FC in the Costcutter League and to his present club Penrhyncoch of the Cymru

Alliance League.

The amicable former pupil at Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi, who turned 18 last month, is also a striker with Aberystwyth Town in the Wales Under 19 Academy Development League which includes Swansea City.

His performances for Aber – he is the league leading marksman with 25 goals in 15 games – came to the attention of the Wales selectors and he received a late call-up to take part in a full day training session at


There followed a three days training camp in north Wales and on Thursday the Cardigan teenager received an e-mail informing him of his selection for the Wales Under 18 Academy squad for two forthcoming away internationals against the Republic of Ireland.

The Wales squad of 20 flies out from Manchester a week on Sunday and will play at Waterford on the evening of Tuesday, February 20 and the second game is at Tramore two days later.

After being given the news an ecstatic Doherty said: "I didn't really think I would get the call. But I'm absolutely delighted – chuffed to bits."

Since his selection he has been inundated with congratulatory messages including a number from former team-mates at Cardigan Town.

A club spokesperson said: "Everyone is over the moon and rooting for Liam all the way."

The youngster's father Seamus, a well-known local building contractor and former manager of Cardigan Town, is travelling to Southern Ireland for the internationals.