This story is a great resemblance of the outstanding sporting talents of our students at St Columba College.
Year 11 student Dylan Malin is bound to catch the eyes of soccer scouts when he hits international grounds with the Adelaide Stars Academy as part of the 2017 Italy Soccer Tour. Dylan will be travelling to the Veneto Region in Italy during the school holidays, from 1-14 October, to take part in an exclusive football training clinic to enhance his skills as a soccer player and experience the professionalism of European International Elite Football Clubs.
Selected as a member of the academy squad, Dylan was initially invited to join and train with the future stars of the sport after the head coach watched him at a local game and saw his outstanding performance as goalkeeper.
“After that game the coach introduced himself to my mum and me and asked if I would like to join the squad to travel to Italy,” Dylan said.
“…and of course I said ‘yes’, without question.”
During the tour, Dylan will be participating in five high profile trial games against youth teams from Serie A and Serie B Clubs. Affiliated with Real Vicenza Football Club and Serie A Professional Football Clubs, the squad will train with top professional coaches to improve their football knowledge and skills, and experience the conditions and levels of professional football training and expectations.
But it’s not all hard work… the squad will be experiencing a taste of Italy on various tours and sightseeing expeditions.
“We will be travelling to San Siro Stadium, the home stadium for AC Milan and Inter Milan, for a tour of the stadium,” Dylan said.
“We will also take day trips to Milan and Venice… and travel as a team to the San Siro Stadium to watch the Italy vs Macedonia World Cup Qualifier game. We have a potential trip to either the Genoa CFC Museum or go on a shopping expedition to the famous Serravalle Designer Outlet near Milan.”
At 16 years of age and measuring 189cm, Dylan has the physical and mental attributes which make him a confident, talented and ambitious goalkeeper. Taking up the sport at aged seven, Dylan was inspired by Adelaide’s talent pool of international players and Australia’s national team, the Socceroos.
“What inspired me to start in the first place was probably six year old me watching games of the Socceroos and of Adelaide United on TV and being amazed by the players,” Dylan said.
“I first began playing soccer because I had a couple of friends that played in a team and they asked me to come out and see if I liked it.
“I begged mum and dad to let me join and sure enough, after a couple of days of annoying them, they finally agreed.”
Dylan started his soccer journey with Munno Para City Soccer Club, playing with them for seven years. In his first year, he played out on the field for a majority of the games but it was goalkeeping that made an impression on him.
“I can remember always having more fun when it was my turn to play as goalkeeper for a game,” Dylan said.
“Halfway through the season I began to realise I was having more fun in goals than running around on the field.
“In my second season, I decided to make the switch and permanently play as a goalkeeper.”
In the last four years, Dylan has been playing for Salisbury Villa Soccer Club training on Tuesday and Thursday nights with Wednesday nights dedicated to training with the Adelaide Stars Academy.
“Currently I am playing in the Open Boys Soccer Team at St Columba College, but whenever there’s anything on at school with soccer, I do my best to get involved because it’s what I love,” Dylan said.
“St Columba College has provided me with the opportunities to represent the College in school soccer at different year levels across my entire schooling life, but also giving me the opportunities of being able to succeed in my education.”
Asked what his ultimate dream would be, Dylan said that becoming a professional soccer player and representing the nation in a sport he loved would be unprecedented.
“My ultimate dream would be to play at the highest point possible at both club and country levels and to be able to play with or against my soccer idol Jack Butland,” Dylan said.
“Jack Butland has consistently been one of the best goalkeepers in the English Premier League for the last couple of seasons and has been my goalkeeping idol for some time now.
“His style of goalkeeping and his technique are something I have personally worked at to style my own technique off of as his reflexes, distribution and handling are incredible.
“I know there are going to be restrictions in reaching my dream, but, this is what excites me the most. Without restrictions we are never going to challenge ourselves to be better than we were yesterday.”
Dylan sets off to Italy in the coming weeks. Taking part in the tour as a promising young footballer, he will further his skills and ability to play senior football in Australia and or overseas. We wish him all the best.
Mrs Amanda Fryer Director of Communications and Engagement