The dream of becoming a professional footballer is becoming reality for Sydney’s Jacob Sullivan and Auckland’s Jake Mechell.
Last months Nike Most Wanted trials featured 700 footballers, all competing for the ultimate chance to train and play with the world’s top coaches and players at Nike’s Academy in the UK.
Players were put to the test during a gruelling six week trial period in eight different cities. In the quest to find a player with the full package, coaches trained players physical, mental, tactical and technical skill.
Of those 700, two remained, standing out from the crowd and earning their place to compete overseas at the Global Showcase.
19 year old Sydney boy Jacob Sullivan describes the opportunity as a dream come true.
“I was really impressed with myself and the way I was feeling, touching the ball and my movement over the weekend.”
“This opportunity is amazing, I can’t believe it. Football is my life. If I didn’t have it, I don’t know what I’d be doing with myself,” Sullivan commented.
17 year old Jake Mechell caught the eye of Nike’s coaches in Auckland, before dazzling at the finals at Pirtek Stadium.
“It’s what I do – I don’t really do anything else. I just play football, it’s everything to me,” says Mechell.
“I want to take it all the way and this is just a stepping stone hopefully. I really want this,” he said.
The Pacific Final winners will take part in the Nike Academy Most Wanted showcase based at St George’s Park, home to England’s National team. Since 2009, 58 Nike Academy alumni have successfully transitioned into professional football. One of those players is Socceroos midfielder Tom Rogic, a product of the Nike Most Wanted academy.
Both players have three days to impress, and earn their position in the Nike Academy.
Nike Academy Most Wanted showcase: November 25-27