THIS weekend kicks of The Chance of a lifetime for two Aussie teenagers who will battle it out for a spot in the coveted Nike Academy.
Victorian midfielder Luka Prevelic and NSW defender Reece Papadimitrios have made it to the final 32 of the same global showcase that discovered rising Socceroos and Celtic star, Tom Rogic.
The young guns will compete in the 2013 edition of The Chance which takes place in London over Novermber 1 and 2.
Up to 10 winners will be offered a spot in the academy for at least a month, which provides a pathway to pro football.
Prelevic and Papadimitrios stood out at the national trials in Sydney and will now be given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in front of elite coaches at the St. George’s Park centre.
Pacific’s Head Scout, Ron Smith, was focused on finding the best unsigned talent in Australia at the national trials.
“We are here to develop the next generation of Australian football and give them the opportunities they need to have a professional career,” Smith said.
“Luka stood out in a very talented crowd because he has a great understanding of the game and of his position in the midfield.
“Reece is a strong kid with great awareness, composure on the ball and distribution out of the back.”
Prelevic, 18, was been plying his trade at Port Melbourne Sharks in the 2013 Victorian Premier League season. He made a number of appearances in the Sharks’ midfield, and was even on the score-sheet in a 2-0 win over last years treble winners Dandenong Thunder.
Papadimitrios, 17, spent the 2013 season playing with the Newcastle Jets in the Northern NSW State League and will likely rejoin the Jets NYL squad when he returns home.
‘‘The way I’m looking at it is to just go over there for the experience and whatever happens from there, I’ll deal with it then,” Papadimitrios told the Newcastle Herald recently.
‘‘But it’s more an experience thing, to see what The Chance is all about, then get back here and focus on the Jets.’’
The success of Rogic, who won the 2011 edition before signing for the Mariners and then Scottish giants Celtic was an inspiration for the young Newcastle defender.
‘‘The whole Tom Rogic story is one of the main reasons I went to the trials,’’ he added.
"At lunch down there, we watched a documentary on Tom Rogic and the Nike champs.
‘‘Just looking at that, I was thinking how amazing it would be to be in his shoes – to see where he’s come from to where he is now.”
au.fourfourtwo.com will keep you posted in the coming days as to how the Aussie boys fared.