AMERICAN college soccer beckons for two Warrnambool teenagers.
Lachlan Bishop, 17, and Daelin Rose, 14, are set to test themselves in the United States after winning selection in a National Scouting Report (NSR) soccer program.
The program promotes emerging players to US college coaches, who in turn can offer sports scholarships to top prospects.
A scholarship offer is not guaranteed, but the NSR program has a high level of success, helping scouted players secure spots at one of more than 2000 soccer-playing colleges.
Lachlan and Daelin are two of 175 Australians — 100 boys and 75 girls — selected for the NSR program each year.
The pair received an invitation to trial after promising seasons with Ballarat Red Devils.
Lachlan, an offensive wing back at Emmanuel College, said he was rapt to earn NSR selection.
He said he hoped the American college system could help him earn a living from the sport.
“The hope is to play professionally. Hopefully I can stay over there,” he said. “It’s a lot bigger over there.”
Daelin, a midfielder/striker at Brauer College, said winning selection was a surprise because he still had three years of high school left.
“I wasn’t really too fussed on it. I didn’t expect to make it,” he said.
He said he hoped to ply his trade at the top level — “I’ve been wanting to do it since I was little.”
Having two players in the NSR program is an impressive reflection on junior programs in Warrnambool.
The teenagers honed their skills at Warrnambool Wolves before joining the Ballarat Red Devils to further their development.
Ballarat Red Devils youth development coach David Broadbent said the pair had the skills to take their soccer careers further.
“They’re both positive, attacking players and they’ve worked hard here with the training and coaching to maximise their opportunities,” he said.
“That’s really what our development program is about — getting our players to access the next step.”
Broadbent said the Red Devils had juniors in state squads in the past, but believed Lachlan and Daelin were the first to earn NSR selection.
Once a player is accepted, the NSR charges a $5000 promotional fee.