Young goal­keeper is one to watch

Central Leader - - SPORT - By DAN­ICA Ma­cLEAN

Sign­ing for an over­seas club is a dream for most Kiwi foot­ballers.

He missed out on play­ing for the Ju­nior All Whites team in China this month, but 17-yearold Zac Speedy is hop­ing to join Ital­ian club Bres­cia Cal­cio.

He was one of seven goal­keep­ers in the U20 squad that played Fiji and Pa­pua New Guinea last month.

Zac is the Three Kings pre­mier team’s keeper and spent two weeks in April tri­alling for two clubs in Italy.

Af­ter play­ing for the Young All Whites at the 2013 Un­der17 World Cup, he re­ceived an in­vi­ta­tion to at­tend the Iker Casil­las elite goal­keeper train­ing sum­mit in Doha, Qatar.

It brought 20 young goal­keep­ers from in­ter­na­tional clubs such as Manch­ester City, Borus­sia Dort­mund and Ar­se­nal to­gether.

Af­ter the sum­mit the Auck­land Gram­mar stu­dent was con­tacted by an Ital­ian scout, who had seen him play against Italy at the U17 World Cup.

He flew to Italy in April where he tri­alled with Serie B club Bres­cia Cal­cio and Serie A club Cata­nia.

‘‘Bres­cia, the first club I went to, showed in­ter­est in hav­ing me come back.

‘‘At the mo­ment we haven’t con­firmed any dates or any- thing, but they’re quite keen, or they seem to be quite keen on bring­ing me back for ex­tended tri­als for their pre-sea­son.

‘‘The like­li­hood is if I go, will be on a one-way ticket.’’

Proud mum Sandy Speedy has en­joyed watch­ing her son’s progress.

‘‘It’s a mix­ture of ex­cite­ment and trep­i­da­tion. It’s a big move,’’ she says.

‘‘If he does go, we will prob­a­bly go too for a few months and help him set up.’’

Zac’s first ex­pe­ri­ence be­tween the posts was as an 8-year-old. He took the place of an in­jured goal­keeper and never looked back.

At his first proper tour­na­ment, his team won the ninth grade na­tion­als.

‘‘I got given a medal and a free pair of boots and stuff and I thought wow, I’m gonna stay here.

‘‘It’s some­thing I am good at and it’s given me a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties, I’ve trav­elled all over the world be­fore I’m 18.’’



Ital­ian op­por­tu­nity: Auck­land Gram­mar stu­dent Zac Speedy is hop­ing to be signed to an Ital­ian foot­ball club this year.

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