Arizona-bound Gympie goalie following Premier League dream
FOOTBALL: Of all young Gympie sporting stars with unquestionably bright futures, US-bound footballer Eligh Williams might just be leading the pack.
The 18-year-old Southport School graduate and incumbent Sunshine Coast Fire men's goalkeeper has accepted a football scholarship offer from Yavapai College in Arizona, which will see him take his game to the next level on his quest to accomplish some seriously big dreams.
"It's hard in Australia for young kids to get their opportunity to play at top level, I've tried England but visas and stuff like that hasn't worked out. It's a bit strict over there,” Williams said.
"I'm trying to find my avenue. In Australia it's hard because it's such a big (football) country so I'm going to America and just try and break through somewhere, a bit of a fresh start.
"It's a full-on season, I think it's something like 26 games in three months. We'll be playing three games a week sometimes.”
With demanding workloads at TSS, Fire and fellow National Premier League side Gold Coast United already, the exhaustive regimen is music to Williams' ears.
"It's constant dedication, every day. I think we've got four hours of dedicated training time every day.
"It's definitely something I'm used to. I trained every morning at TSS, even if I wasn't training I was still out on the pitch. I'm used to the training, that's not an issue,” he said.
Since he's been home, Williams has been starting every day with an hour in the gym to "beef up” for tough NPL contests, which also have him driving to and from Maroochydore and Kawana.
He spends his nights off at the One Mile Ovals, putting in extra work with Gympie United during women's squad training sessions.
It's all part of a plan to help Williams reach those ultimate goals.
"If everything goes the way I want it to, I want to play in the English Premier League. That would be a dream come true. Playing a World Cup for Australia would be the best thing, I reckon.”
Williams heads to the US in August.