Port Fairy president Woody Bucci is thrilled to see one of the town's soccer exports succeeding at a high level, saying it will encourage other junior prospects to chase their dreams.
Eighteen-year-old Harry Parrett moved to Melbourne late last year from the seaside town, to further his ambitions in the round ball game.
The defender spent the first half of the season with National Premier League 3 under 18 side Box Hill United before transferring to Bentleigh Greens in the NPL 1 under 18 competition.
He played 14 games for a Greens outfit that finished fourth.
"It's exciting seeing Harry spread his wings a little bit and go through those pathways up in Melbourne," Bucci said.
"I think he's got an enormous future.
"He's an incredibly dedicated young man, a really well-driven young man and he's got a very wise head, a very level head. I think that all of those factors combined with his immense natural talent, I think that he's going to go far."
The Plovers were only founded in 2021, meaning Parrett, a Warrnambool Rangers junior, never pulled on the purple jersey.
He has however played a role in its development.
"He would train with us midweek before he'd go up to Ballarat, now Melbourne, to play," Bucci said. "Harry's been a huge asset for us, he's a really quiet, young guy but he really leads by example on the training pitch and brings a lot of professionalism to our trainings when he's able to train with us."
The Plovers president believes Parrett's feats may inspire young players in the region, not aware of potential soccer pathways.
The club has also chipped in with a sponsorship of the young trailblazer, to help with some expenses.
"Sometimes when you're in regional areas you can lose sight of those other pathways," he said.
"It might not necessarily be as extreme as moving to Melbourne... But I think it's good for young people to see people like Harry taking up those pathways and knowing that they're there and knowing there's options outside of the region.
"And also there's support within the region for them to pursue those pathways. Our club's been able to provide a little bit of support for Harry but there's a lot of other support, a lot of other grants and a lot of other institutions that help support kids with those elite sporting pathways."
When Parrett moved to Melbourne he enrolled at Forest Hill College in Burwood which has its own soccer academy. He is relishing being part of the program, where from Monday to Thursday he has soccer training before classes.
"It fits better with my timetable really," he said.
"With soccer in the morning. I enjoy it much more now."
Next season the teenager is hoping to make Bentleigh's under 21 squad and eventually find opportunities in the club's senior team.
After he completes school next year he intends to look at overseas trials with clubs in Europe, which will be easier to navigate due to his English heritage.
"I can get a European passport and then be counted as a domestic player," he said.
"So I can go to England or France. The coach at school has connections with a Serbian team as well."
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