Neville following football dreams
ROBBIE Neville knows hard work is needed to make it as a professional footballer.
At age 16, the Warwick player is training three hours a day during the Christmas holidays as he aims to play professionally “anywhere”.
“It is my dream to play for the Socceroos,” Neville said.
He first played junior football as an eight-year-old in Warwick, and for the past two years has played for the Warwick Colts in the Toowoomba competition.
Last year he was selected for a five-week tour of Germany with the Joeys FC United club from Inverell.
The tour was organised by Inverell coach Heinrich Haussler, who has former Socceroos coach Rale Rasic as one of his support staff.
“The trip to Germany was a real eye-opener,” Neville said.
“It inspired me to aim to play professionally.
“I am confident I can make it, but know I will have to train hard to get noticed.”
The Joeys played 20 games in Germany.
“I improved my knowledge of the game and learnt a lot about positioning and tactics during the trip,” he said.
Neville will play for the Toowoomba Raiders youth side this season in the Brisbane under-19 competition.
That will mean two trips to Toowoomba each week for training and a game on Saturday night or Sunday in Brisbane or Toowoomba.
His parents Steve and Lenore will gladly jump in the car to enable their son to follow a football dream starting with a season or two with the Raiders.
The time with the Raiders won't be his first at a high level.
He has already made South West Queensland development sides in the 13, 14 and 15-year age groups.
Neville plays as a centre back and is keen to use his height to head balls away from the danger zone for his team.
At 190cm, Neville is already taller than Australian captain and centre back Lucas Neil.
“I would love to stay at my current height, but if I keep growing I will use it,” he said.
“Height is a good thing in football as the players are getting bigger and bigger and the physical demands are greater.”
While many sportsmen are having a break over Christmas, Neville is busy with trips to the gym at WIRAC as well as sprint and endurance work to improve his fitness before the start of his Raiders season.
Neville attends The School of Total Education and is also interested in futsal.
“I love futsal but am currently concentrating more on football,” he said.
Every budding young footballer has a favourite club, and Neville loves talking about his club, Barcelona in Spain.
“Barcelona plays the best football. Their passing and positioning is brilliant,” he said.
While his favourite world club is Barcelona and his top A-league club is the Queensland Roar, Neville won't be too choosy if an offer comes along to play professionally.
He just wants to make it in the world game.