That spark you need to ignite your football dream. It can come in many forms.
For Western United’s Dylan Pierias, Germany 14 years ago hit him like a bolt of lightning.
World Cup 2006.
It was one of the most exhilarating sporting journeys any Australian team had taken.
For those who need a quick reminder, the Socceroos had not qualified for the biggest single sporting event on the planet for 32 years.
But a white-knuckle do-or-die qualifier against Uruguay in 2005 banished the decades of hurt.
And for a young kid in Melbourne’s west, what occurred in front of him on a TV screen in Germany in June of 2006 inspired him to join his local football club.
The Socceroos took on the world's best and qualified for the knockout stages from a group that included Japan, Brazil, and Croatia.
Australia was suddenly transformed into a football nation.
The Socceroos were suddenly the nation's newest heroes.
Now, Pierias is a professional footballer in Australia’s elite domestic competition the Hyundai A-League having debuted for Western United this season after being signed from Melbourne City.
“I watched the 2006 World Cup, Italy versus Australia. That really made me think ‘wow’, I really want to play football,” Pierias recalled.
“And ever since the day I put my first soccer boots on, I fell in love with the game.”
To learn more about Dylan’s journey and his days with Keilor Park Soccer Club, CLICK HERE
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Western United's next home game is against Brisbane Roar on Sunday 16 February at Mars Stadium in Ballarat.
CLICK HERE to get tickets.
CLICK HERE to become a Western United member.