Western Pride FC is excited to announce the homecoming of Ipswich junior Dylan Wenzel-Halls from Brisbane Roar Youth.
Pride moved quickly to secure the striker in an effective swap for top scorer Joe Duckworth who joined Roar at the end of the season.
Wenzel-Halls came to attention with 99 goals in 3 years for Olympic FC’s youth teams before scoring on his Roar debut in a Foxtel National Youth League clash against Melbourne City last summer.
His PlayStation® 4 National Premier League 2016 season saw him restricted to 3 goals in 5 starts as he slipped down the pecking order behind the competition’s reigning Young Player of the Year Nick D’Agostino and former Pride striker Harrison Sawyer.
Wenzel-Halls said he was happy with his experience at Roar despite limited playing time.
“Daggers is a good striker with a good reputation, and it was tough playing behind him,” Wenzel-Halls said.
“But the A-League standard meant I learnt a lot and improved as a player.”
The former Ipswich Knights junior saw his return to his home town as the perfect opportunity for himself and his new club.
“My aim is to get back into a professional environment and this will come from stringing good performances together and scoring goals,” Wenzel-Halls said.
“I’ve joined Pride to get a lot of game time under my belt and to help improve Pride.
“I’ve not played for an Ipswich club since I was 8 so it is good to be back playing locally and at a competitive level.”
As a junior Wenzel-Halls moved to Brisbane clubs Lions FC and Olympic FC, a story once common for Ipswich youngsters but less so since the Ipswich clubs joined forces to create Western Pride four years ago.
Pride’s increasing reputation for youth development has seen an increasing number local juniors remain in the city while the club has also attracted top Ipswich talent such as Wenzel-Halls and Josh Grommen back home to continue their careers.
Pride coach Graham Harvey said he was excited another Ipswich boy had returned to play senior football.
“Dylan adds to a good list of young local players now at the club including Nielen Brown, Jordan Lambi, Josh Grommen, Josh Wilson, Jake Minett and Corey Lucas,” Harvey said.
Harvey added it was now up to Wenzel-Halls to build on what he had learned at Roar.
“People in professional football have made a decision that Dylan is not at the appropriate level yet,” Harvey said.
“He has impressed me so far in training, and it is important he keeps his feet on the ground and opens his mind to learning the game.
“I have no doubt he will score goals in the upcoming season and add to the team culture at Pride.”