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Aspiring Socceroo joins Ballarat

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Orlando pictured with his Golden Boot and Golden Ball trophies.

ORLANDO Salta has had a stand out season this year, scoring a total of 74 goals for the Kookaburras, including the goal of the year, in the Maryborough inter-club competition.

Orlando has exceeded all expectations this year, and playing for the Kookaburras has given him a lot of confidence. He is now ready to take it to the next level, as next year he will be playing in the BDSA U11 competition. Orlando is confident he can do Maryborough proud, and one day hopes he can become a Socceroo. Orlando has Italian and British heritage, and was born in Geelong 2006, the year Italy won its 4th World Cup.

It is going to be a big commitment for Orlando, as he will have to train twice a week, unlike at Maryborough where they only train once a week.

Also Ballarat has an early start to preseason, as he will be starting in early February, as opposed to starting late in April with his old Maryborough Club.

Orlando started his Soccer career at the age of 7, where he had to play in the U9 competition, as Maryborough did not have U7s.

On match days he struggled quite a bit against the 9 year olds, and like most kids playing in the wrong age group, he was a little bit intimidated by the bigger kids.

Orlando trained each week with the U9s where he was able to learn skills without having to try to keep up with the older and faster kids. He practiced at home, and also got some good tips from watching YouTube clips of superstars like Ronaldo, Del Piero and Messi.

In his second season, Orlando played for Creswick. The first half of the season was very diffi cult for Orlando to adapt, as coming from Maryborough where it was more of a social comp rather than a competitive match, to now having to play in a proper competition, with proper sized fields.

Each week he had to play against other clubs in the Ballarat region, rather than playing against his team mates every week in Maryborough, which becomes very repetitive. But as the season went on, Orlando started to work out how the game is played, and towards the end of the season, showed signs of what things would come the following season.

In his final year of U9s this season, coming from Creswick had definitely made him a better player, as he seemed to control every game with ease, and score an incredible amount of goals. One game he played for the other team, who had not won a match.

On that day, they won their first match, thanks to 4 goals from Orlando. With renewed confidence and self-belief, it will be interesting to see how Orlando competes at a higher level.

But this was the only option for Orlando, as Maryborough’s next age group is U13s, which is a huge jump.

He now has the challenge on his hands of mixing it with the best in the Ballarat region.

Orlando is ready for the challenge, and is training and preparing already. Hopefully next season there will be a positive story on how Orlando is faring in the BDSA competition.