Geelong soccer star trying out in Argentina
April 30th, 2010
A YOUNG Geelong soccer player's hopes of making it as a professional has led him to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in a bold attempt to make the grade.
Lelo Sejean, 19, has lived in the Argentine capital for the past year since a trial at the world famous Boca Juniors club - the former home of Argentine legend Diego Maradona - ended unsuccessfully.
Undaunted, Sejean has another try out lined up with Boca along with a trial at Club San Telmo, a third division outfit.
Sejean hopes that his decision to stick it out will fulfil his dreams of making it as a professional, 11,000 kms from his hometown of Geelong.
The former Joeys' student played Aussie Rules before switching to soccer, lining up with both North Geelong and Sunshine George Cross, where he was coached by Victor Cristaldo, himself one of the few Australian players to make it in South America after a stint at Paraguayan club Sport Columbia.
Sejean, a striker, turned out for the Geelong representative team and Victoria's under 16 futsal team. He was invited to be part of the Australian under 19 futsal squad for a tour of Spain, but had to turn down the opportunity due to a lack of funding.
Now playing for San Jose de Constitucion, Sejean says that the style of the game in Latin America suits him.
"The footwork is like magic and they play with crazy amounts of passion and speed," he said.
"I've almost had to start from scratch. In terms of pace, it feels like a much faster game.
"The game is such a huge part of the culture. Soccer pretty much comes first for them, before food ...
"I've been a huge Boca Juniors supporter for ages, there's no other club quite like that in the world. I figured if I was going to make it, I may as well make it with them."
Sejean has been nicknamed 'Canguro', which translates as kangaroo by his teammates and has become near-fluent in Spanish. He is determined to make it in Argentina, but admits that the lifestyle change has been huge.
"It has been a massive change and my first experience of living out of home," he said. "I guess this whole thing has made me appreciate what I have back home in Geelong."http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2010/04/30/168611_geelong_sports.html