By Marc McGowan
IT IS rare for a junior soccer club to receive an injection of international talent, but that’s exactly what has happened at Berwick City this season.
Round ball prodigy Kieran Dover arrived in Berwick only eight weeks ago from Sunderland, England, where he played for the city’s premier junior side against the likes of Manchester United, Middlesborough and Newcastle.
A month later Kieran was trialing for the under 12 Victorian Primary Schools’ Sports Association team.
The 11-year-old midfielder is now a member of the final 14-player squad that will compete in the national championships at Darebin International Sports Centre in September.
Kieran was considered so talented that he entered the trials with only 60 children left in contention after more than 6500 began.
His grade six teacher at Berwick Primary School, Cindy Dussoye, who is a state player herself and competes for Ashburton in the Women’s Premier League, orchestrated the rising star’s late inclusion in the process.
But Kieran’s selection was most importantly a testament to his remarkable work ethic and passion for the sport.
“I train by myself every night, just juggling the ball and going in and out of cones,” he said. “I really enjoy it and I want to ‘make it’ as a footballer.”
Kieran’s family moved to Australia after his father Sean, who is now coaching Berwick City’s under-12 team, accepted a job with Grocon Construction.
Sean is now involved in the building of Melbourne Victory’s new stadium.
“Hopefully Kieran will be playing there one day,” he said.
“For Sunderland, he was basically getting trained to become a professional footballer and had to go through a lot of trials to get into it.
“He doesn’t mess about, is dedicated and always tries his hardest.
“I’ve heard state competition is very good over here and I’m over the moon he made it.”
Kieran’s 14-year-old brother Jack is also a promising forward with a similarly bright future.
Pictures: Stewart Chambers.