Levi Ives almost quit Torquay United after homesickness

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Levi Ives
Ives is currently a second-year scholar at the Torquay United academy

Torquay United's highly-rated young left-back Levi Ives says he almost quit the club due to homesickness.

The 17-year-old Northern Ireland youth international made his Gulls debut in Monday's

"In my first year it was very tough - at one stage I thought about packing in football," Ives told BBC Sport.

"But then I got my head around things and a new coach came in and changed me as a person," added Ives, who is set to sign his first professional deal soon.

Levi Ives on youth team football:
"It wasn't challenging me in the youth team. I didn't find any toughness in it."

The coach that helped the teenager was Kevin Nancekivell, who was brought to the club by Chris Hargreaves soon after he took over as manager.

The former first team coach at Plymouth Argyle is in charge of players aged between 17 and 21 at Plainmoor with the aim of getting them ready for first-team football.

"He brought better things to the club," said Ives.

"It's just his coaching. He puts inspiration in your body. He's a very good coach."

And Ives, is now focused on senior football with the Gulls.

"It wasn't challenging me in the youth team," he said. "I didn't find any toughness in it.

"For the first team, the pace is obviously higher and I find it difficult. Everything you do has to be bang on."

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