Melbourne Heart FC gave some of Victoria’s best multicultural talent the opportunity to chase their dreams to earn a train on position with Heart's National Youth League team last Tuesday.
Over 30 boys from CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) backgrounds born overseas, aged 16 to 20 years, attended from a range of areas including Morwell, Melton, Dandenong and inner Melbourne.
Ahmed Dini, from Football Federation Victoria, who is also the chairman of the Somali Football Association praised the initiative led by Heart’s Community Program.
“Bringing the boys here obviously means a lot to them and I think from a community perspective we really want to see Heart more for the community but we also like to see young recognisable players from our community taking part in these activities and hopefully becoming part of Melbourne Heart as a club.”
“We had about seven boys who came along on my behalf aged between 14-19 years old so we have a bit of spread of age and we want these guys to obviously get involved in mainstream Clubs like Heart and whoever makes it, or whoever doesn’t, it’s always a bit of an experience for them.
“These kids are from communities from low socio-economic families so it obviously hard for them to participate in the game and that’s why we are doing our best to make sure these kids are playing the sport that they love and for us it is an engagement platform.”
“There is a lot of talent and football brings the best out of young people and brings them together.
“It is not just about football it is about helping these kids staying in touch with society and being positive role models.”
Sammy Nour, a 19-year-old refugee originally from Sudan, said the trials had given him the opportunity to visualise his dreams of becoming a professional footballer.
"It's very good to see Melbourne Heart work with African refugees and refugees from other countries and give us an opportunity," Nour said. "But most of all we enjoyed ourselves."
Sue Crow, General Manager of Community at Melbourne Heart said “This is an initiative which has the full support of our Football Department. Our club is inclusive and we are genuine in providing opportunities and new experiences for young players."