Jack Sherratt will sign a one-year professional contract with Leyton Orient after winning the Samsung Win A Pro Contract competition.
Jack, 19, of Alsager, Stoke-on-Trent, beat more than 5,500 entrants to win the life-changing deal.
The midfielder, who is studying for a degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Manchester Metropolitan University, made it through a series of regional trials before lining up against an Orient XI at the Matchroom Stadium on January 16.
He was one of three players selected to spend a week training at Orient and the other club in the Samsung Win A Pro Contract competition, Swindon Town.
Jack, who as a youngster spent eight years at Port Vale, was then picked after impressing O’s manager Russell Slade and his backroom staff.
Jack said: “When I found out I’d won I started crying, I just couldn’t believe it. I’d feared the worst so to hear the good news was an amazing feeling.
“When I entered Samsung Win A Pro Contract last year, I wasn’t expecting much. But I took the competition step-by-step and my confidence grew after each stage.
“I’ve almost finished the second year of my degree but I’m really looking forward to concentrating on football full-time. It’s something I’ve worked towards all my life.
“I can’t wait to get started at Orient. I’ve got belief in my ability and need to go there and work hard for an opportunity. My goal is to make the first team.
“I can’t recommend Samsung Win A Pro Contract enough. It’s given me a second chance to achieve my dream. It has changed my life.”
Jack, who represented England Schoolboys at Under-18 level in 2011, will now look to defer his studies as he prepares to join up with the squad this summer.
Slade said: “Jack showed great attitude and real consistency throughout the entire process.
“When he came in to train with us he didn’t let himself down and his approach was spot on.
“We feel we are taking on someone who will not only slot in with us well but hopefully progress with us, too.”
Jack will be unveiled at half-time during the home game against Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday April 13. He will join the club on a 12-month contract from July 1, 2013.
Sky Sports will be showing a three-part series on Samsung Win A Pro Contract in May.
For more information on Win A Pro Contract, please visit www.facebook.com/samsungfootball