ALVECHURCH forward Tyrell Hamilton has praised the Worcestershire club for saving his football career after it was confirmed he would make the step into the National League North with AFC Telford United for the 2021/22 season.

Hamilton, who scored a bundle of goals in a short stint with the club, has two games left with Church this weekend before he makes the move to Telford, where the promising striker will continue to gain valuable experience of non-league football.

Born and raised in North-West Birmingham, it was apparent early on that football was going to be his life and at the age of eight, Tyrell joined the Birmingham City set-up.

There he stayed until August 2018 when successful trial periods was rewarded with a contract by AFC Bournemouth. He played games for both the under-23 and under-21 sides as well as training with the first team on a number of occasions under then manager Eddie Howe.

But last year, whilst on loan with Gosport Borough in the Southern League, the coronavirus pandemic struck, leaving Hamilton in a dark place.

"I had a few loan spells, trained with the first team, it was good. I loved it there," said Hamilton.

"But it was difficult because I was between the under 23s and the senior team, I didn’t know what was going on. Then lockdown rolled around in March whilst I was on loan at Gosport and obviously everything stopped.

"I was there to work for my deal but lockdown put an end to my loan spell, so I couldn’t prove myself and then in May they told me over a Zoom call that I wouldn’t be resigned.

"It was a sad way to end."

With lockdown and all of the restrictions impacting non-league football, Hamilton admits he was at a crossroads in his young career.

"It’s easily been the trickiest season of my football career," said Hamilton.

"Mentally it was really difficult, I haven’t ever had to deal with being released. When I left Bournemouth I couldn’t go on trial with clubs or go and play lower down because of lockdown, so it was do or die for my career - I was on my knees.

"No club wanted me, so I didn't know what I was going to do next, there were no offers.

"Luckily for me, my dad knew the chairman (Richard Thorndike) and whilst watching my brother I was introduced to him. He told me that Alvechurch was the best place for me, so I went down and I am so glad I did.

"I have the upmost respect to Alvechurch because they had faith in me when no one did. They gave me the platform to get my move to Telford, gave me the freedom to play. They looked after me when no one wanted me."

Having had trial games with Telford this year, Hamilton impressed manager Gavin Cowan and after more goals, was offered a contract that he believes can be the springboard for him to progress through the leagues.

"I spoke to the manager (Gavin Cowan) at Telford and he has his plans and I have mine. I have done a bit of research on the club, been watching some videos on how they play.

"I like the whole set-up, the way they train, they have all the fundamentals to kick on, they have everything I need.

"Playing a step higher is good for me and I needed to make this step. I want to be the best version of me, whether that’s playing in the Premier League or the Championship, I want to play at the highest level.

"I know I can do that so I have to go through these steps at Telford to show why I can play at those levels."

Hamilton is an ambitious and driven young man and not only does he have his sights set on the higher leagues, but also international football.

He qualifies to play for Jamaica through his parents and grandparents and Hamilton admits it would "mean the world to me and my family" to earn international recognition.

"I have been trying to play for Jamaica since 16 so I am hoping this can be my breakthrough season!" he admitted.

"I think the Gold Cup is up next for them and I can play for the 23s or the first team, so my aim is to play for Jamaica this season.

"Hopefully this season I could get Telford or one of my representatives to really try and get a Jamaica call-up. I feel like it’s a goal that is more than achievable.

"It would mean the world to me and my family but especially my dad. He talks about Jamaica non stop and that would be a great excuse for him to go back to Jamaica and watch me!"