Two young Daylesford boys are aspiring to be Australia’s next big soccer stars.
Eero Partonen and Luka Straka have been playing in the National Premiers League with Ballarat City Juniors for a season and are enjoying the challenge.
Originally from Finland before his family moved to Scotland, England, Queensland and then Daylesford, Eero Partonen has played soccer for many different clubs since first taking to the field as a six year old.
He said he has become more confident since starting to play soccer.
“I really like the physical side. Scoring is fun too and when I can get past someone with skills,” he said.
Eero said he had learnt a lot since moving from Hepburn and Daylesford United to Ballarat City Juniors.
“It's way more challenging. I won the best and fairest in my division (in Daylesford) and I also won the golden boot.
“That's why I wanted more of a challenge and decided to play for the NPL,” he said.
Eero said he would keep his options open for the future but had been keenly watching the World Cup and would love to play in it one day.
“Watford F.C is my number one, or Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp is still coaching at the time.
“I would also like to get a chance to play for Finland's national team.”
Luka has been playing soccer for three years.
He said he enjoyed playing for Daylesford but playing in Ballarat was more serious as they train twice a week.
His favourite part of playing in the NPL was training a lot and the challenges of playing at many different Melbourne clubs.
Luka said he would like to continue playing for Ballarat in the future, but if he had a chance to play in the World Cup, he would love to play for England’s Chelsea Football Club.