AS A young footballer Jake Kempton had it all – a professional contract at Wolverhampton Wanderers, an England U18 call-up and seemingly on the way to the top of the game.

But fast forward just three years and the 22-year-old faces such an uncertain future in the game he is more concerned with getting his surveying qualifications at Guildford College of Further Education than pursuing a career kicking a ball.

Warlingham-based Kempton, who works as a buyer for a construction company, scored one of Kingstonian’s goals of the season last term and netted seven goals in 24 appearances for the club, but the story of his life – injury – robbed him of more.

A two-year scholarship at Wolverhampton Wanderers – after a spell with Fulham – had opened the door to a two-year professional contract at Molineux, but that is when things went wrong.

“In my first year as a pro I had a meniscus tear in my right knee during pre-season and I was out for eight months,” he said.

“When I came back it turned out I had a cyst in the same knee, which had to be removed – that was another 10 or 11 months on the sidelines, by which time my contract was running out.

“The most frustrating thing is I was doing really well at Wolves. I was in the U21s as a 17-year-old and scored quite a few goals.

“I got a call to go away with the England U18s playing at Crewe against Poland, which would have been the highlight of my career.

“But I got injured and never went.

“I did a lot of work 24-7 at Wolves away from my family and it will always be a frustration it came to nothing.

“These things happen. You look back on those four years as memories, but you cannot dwell on it too much.

“I’m still healthy and young and I’m sure if I stay fit for a season I’ll score goals.

“If I can stay fit I’m sure people will see what sort of player I am. I back myself to score goals at this level.”

Spells at Aldershot Town, Crawley Town, Ks and Staines Town since his Wolves dream was shattered, have been equally injury ravaged, leaving Kempton without a club ahead of pre-season training - which starts for Ks this weekend.

Ks assistant Graham Harper has backed him to prove himself this term if he can get himself fit.

Kempton remains upbeat and takes heart from the success of England striker Jamie Vardy and Burnley front man Andre Gray as he contemplates his future.

“The main thing for me is to build up my confidence and enjoy my football. It has been a lot of hard work for the last three years,” he added.

“But You look at the likes of Jamie Vardy and Andre and you know you’ve just got to stick at it,” he added.

“I have no regrets. Wolves was a great experience. Living away, playing football and getting up to mischief. Some of my friends are playing in the Wolves first team now or playing in the Champions League with other teams. That’s life. I’m not bitter.”