Gladstone soccer star lands try-out with historic English club
SOCCER: Gladstone United junior goal-keeper Dylan Fry is heading overseas to chase his Premier League dream.
Dylan will attempt to make the cut for the under-16 Crystal Palace youth team.
The try-outs will be held in mid-November at Selhurst Park in London under the guidance of professional development phase goal-keeping coach Gary Phillips and his brother Mark.
AUDIO | Interview with Dylan Fry
"Last year there was a goal-keeper camp down on the Gold Coast and they had Mark Phillips doing a training camp and he said to me at the end of the camp that if I go to England, he'd like to have a very good look at me," Dylan, 15, said.
The Toolooa State High School student has a prodigious vertical leap and cat-like reflexes - ingredients essential to become a top-class 'keeper.
Dylan was speechless when he found out that he was one of the select few who will be doing the try-outs that are based on core skills such as catching high and low balls, out-field kicking, shot stopping, positioning, distribution with both feet and general technique.
"I was very shocked, but shocked in a good way and am very pleased with it and excited about the trip and there is still a lot of hard work to do," Dylan said.
The youngster explained what the trip will entail.
"There will be many training sessions and a lot of games to get your performance up I guess," Dylan said.
There will be scouts from other clubs such as Liverpool and Chelsea who will be present.
The remarkable thing is that Dylan has only been playing soccer for four years and his development has gone through the roof.
"It's not like any other kid who start at two years of age and I thought I'd give it a red-hot go in the inter-schools competition when I was 12 and I really liked it so I decided to keep going with the sport," Dylan said.
Having played two other sports, Dylan believes they have helped him with his goal-keeping.
He has played Aussie Rules football with Gladstone Mudcrabs as well as basketball.
"Definitely, they both help build up reflexes and hand-eye co-ordination like foot-work and vertical jump," Dylan said.
"It's good to have those skills from previous sports."
Dylan said his family and coaches have shown great dedication in helping him reach his goals.
His proud dad Brad Fry said it's a win-win situation.
"Whatever comes from this, it's something that he will remember for a long time and it will be an amazing experience no matter what happens," Fry said.
"If he gets an offer, then fantastic and if nothing happens, well, he'll still have this experience."