Murray United's Will Kennedy has signed for Melbourne Victory.
It's another big compliment to the work being done by the NPL club, just weeks after 12-year-old Eli Wilson was snapped up by Melbourne City.
Kennedy, a former Boomers junior, impressed Victory's academy coaches with his versatility during the three-week trial process.
"I feel very proud," the 15-year-old said.
"All the hard work I've put in and all the training I've gone through has led to this and it just feels surreal.
"I felt a little nervous but most of the people who were trialling, I've played with or against so I know I'm up to that standard.
"As it went on, and more people got cut, you think you're doing something right.
"It was amazing when I got the offer, very exciting. We got the email, I started training straight away and now I'm in the team.
"I've always wanted to play for an academy at the highest level. I could always visualise and imagine wearing the uniform and playing for that team."
It's now a reality for Kennedy, who will be part of Victory's under-16 squad in 2021/22.
Standing 178cm tall, he's turned in a series of impressive midfield performances but is happy doing a job anywhere on the pitch.
"I can play in many positions and I think that helps getting picked," Kennedy said.
"The coach has said he's going to pick players who are versatile on the field and that's a big strength of mine.
"I was at Murray United for two years and playing in the NPL, you're up against the top kids each week and you get some of the best training we have in our area.
"I think that helped a fair bit."
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Kennedy's form at Boomers saw him start to make rep teams locally and things just got better from there.
"I played at state and national championships so making those teams consistently, I knew I was on the right path," Kennedy said.
"When I moved over to the NPL, I was going down to Melbourne and back for training programs.
"I've always wanted to play professionally and by the times I was 13 or 14, I knew it was something I really wanted to take seriously."
Victory's gain may be Murray's loss but Kennedy, like Wilson before him, goes with the club's blessing.
"The most pleasing thing is that this is what Will wants and he's been able to achieve it," technical director Adam Carty said. "Seeing players reach the targets they've set themselves is really pleasing.
"Will's got the ability to work away from groups, he'll take himself offline and work on little parts of his game by himself.
"The players who spend extra time are the ones who want to improve.
"This shows the system works. It mean the A-League clubs see a lot of our kids and know them by name.
"Will's interest and passion for the game was sparked playing in a community league and NPL has been a showcase for him to progress and hopefully make a career out of it."
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