BRIGHTLINGSEA Regent midfielder Rob Harvey admits it would be a “dream come true” to make the grade as a professional footballer.

The highly-rated 17-year-old has just embarked on a three-week trial at Premier League side West Ham United.

He joined the Hammers yesterday and hopes to play at least one under-23 match during his stay with the London Stadium side.

Harvey admitted feeling both nervous and exciting beforehand and said the trial was “surreal”.

But he hopes to catch the eye of the club’s talent-spotters and would love to make a name for himself in the professional game.

“I don’t really know what to expect but hopefully I’ll get more information this week,” said the former student at Colchester’s Philip Morant School and College, who graduated through the Colne Football Academy.

“It’s a really big deal for me but I just want to go there and try and be myself.

“It’s important I try and play my natural game, instead of worrying too much or feeling pressure.

“I’m nervous and excited.

“It’s very flattering but quite surreal at the moment.

“I can’t quite believe I’ve been invited to have a trial with such a big Premier League club as West Ham.

“I hope it’s a really good experience and that whatever happens, I learn lots and come away a better player.

“I’ve always wanted to be a professional footballer.

“It’s what I’m passionate about and if I could make a living from the game, and play as high a level as possible, it would be a dream come true.

“I will always keep my feet on the ground and I’ve got good people around me, within my family and at the club.”

West Bergholt-based Harvey, who had a trial at Ipswich Town last season, was watched by West Ham scouts at Regent’s recent Bostik League premier division match at home to Wingate and Finchley.

He made his full debut for the club and played his part in an impressive 1-0 victory.

“It shows how far the club have come, that scouts are regularly coming along to our matches,” said Harvey, who came on as a substitute for Freddie Gard in Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Thurrock.

“I was making my first league started that night, so it was a big occasion for me anyway.

“I wanted to play my part in a victory, which is what happened, and then to find out about the scouts being there was a huge bonus.” Brightlingsea entertain Kingstonian tonight (7.45pm).

It is the first of two matches at the Taydal Stadium in quick succession, with Tooting and Mitcham United the visitors on Saturday.