Born and bred just one minute from Caroline Springs George Cross’ ground – joining Western United was a no-brainer for Dylan Pierias.
The 19-year-old’s path to the club personifies everything Western United aspires to be – a pathway for local players in one of the state’s fastest growing regions.
Pierias joined Western United after three seasons at Melbourne City, where he became the first player born in the 21st century to play in the league after starting as a 16-year-old in February 2017.
“Being a western boy growing up in the west of Melbourne my whole life was a massive thing for me,” he told FNR.
“I was thinking what a great opportunity it would be for me to be part of a club coming through and also to be right in my back yard,” he said.
“Where we train is literally one minute from my house.
“It’s different, Melbourne City is an established club they’ve been in the league for years but now being part of Western United it’s a different feel.
“We’re creating history we’re the new team on the block, it’s very exciting.”
In addition to the club’s location, Pierias says he “jumped out of his skin” when he discovered he would be training alongside childhood hero and Italian international Alessandro Diamanti.
“When I heard they signed [Diamanti and Panagiotis Kone] I was jumping out of my skin, just starting out in the A-League and hearing players from Serie A was coming here,” he said.
“Especially Diamanti who’s played for Italy and I’m Italian as well, so that was such a cool thing.
“Training with them you can just see their quality and it’s at another level I’ve learned so much from them.
“It’s not easy to make it at any level but at that level it shows you really have to knuckle down and give it your best to make it.
“I realised you have to have that x-factor and that something special to make it at that level.”
Pierias has made five appearances for Western United off-the-bench, with Australian football fans keeping a close eye on his progress after an impressive few years representing Melbourne City in the National Youth League.
Featured Image: Luke Hemer