Four years ago, Jack Hutchings of Yellow Rock was a talented young soccer player who spent one of his school holidays playing against top European football as part of the Premier League Under 14 Sydney Olympic side's foray into the Mediterranean International Cup in Barcelona.
This year Hutchings' dreams of career success on the football field are coming to fruition.
The 18-year-old was signed by the Western Sydney Wanderers u/20s (Youth Team) in the National Premier League.
"The process actually came around really quickly. For the majority of this season I spent my time with big NPL club Blacktown City FC in their u/20s squad. The call came from a contact of the club (WSW) during the transfer window. They expressed their interest in me to sign with them for the back end of the season. Then after two weeks after the initial contact, along with meetings and phone calls with the clubs, I signed my contract with Wanderers."
Hutchings said he is "thrilled with this amazing opportunity, it's not something I have taken for granted".
"Football is obviously something I am really passionate about, and to be in such an environment where I can do that almost every day of the week is a dream come true."
He's hopeful in coming weeks to be selected in a youth team squad to take part in the National Youth League that starts in the "off season" that play off against the other A-League youth teams.
The A-League itself "is still a step away" he said. But he is "in the right environment around the right contacts ... in taking that step closer to my goal".
"I am just keeping my head down and working hard, attempting to impress the senior coaching staff and be the best I can be."
Last year the right back was selected in the Combined Independent Schools squad and was tournament player of the event and captained his school football team into the CIS Cup final. He was also the recipient of a Golden Boot scholarship for two years. Both helped his accuracy and technique.
Hutchings started playing with Springwood United when he was six. He followed that up with a stint at Nepean and then was selected for the Premier League side, the Blacktown Spartans.
He has left St Columba's College and now attends SEDA College at Sydney Olympic Park to be closer to his morning training regime (6-9am four to five times a week) where he is completing his HSC.