Daniel Deblaere is a young footballer who left Sydney for Iowa to embark on a journey that would prove to be a learning experience both on and off the field. The former St Pius X College student first joined the football program at Waldorf College in 2010, before transferring to Delta State University in Mississippi for his Sophmore year.
“College has been one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life,” Deblaere told Football Central.
“Playing football is all I’ve ever wanted to do and to get a degree with it makes it that much better. The facilities here at my school – Delta State University – are great and the coaching staff is quality. I have one more season here at Delta State University after my stint at FC Indiana.”
The 23 year old decided in the US winter to look for opportunities to take his game to new heights. After consulting with his college coaches it seems the diminutive midfielder has found a temporary home with National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) side, FC Indiana.
“I’ve been speaking to my coaches here at Delta State University about taking my game to the next level and finding a team to play for this summer,” revealed Deblaere.
“I emailed teams and coaches who I felt would be the best fit for me and FC Indiana looks to be a great fit. I contacted Chris Castro – head coach at FC Indiana – about the possibility of playing for the club and we worked out an agreement and the contract was signed last week.
“The deal is for the summer season which begins in May and lasts until August. Although only a short stint it is an experience that I am going to take with both hands and make the most of it.
“The facilities are brilliant, quality training facilities and match pitch. The fan base seems to be strong as the club is known for developing professional women’s players as they compete in the Women’s Premier Soccer League and has a very strong youth system at the club.
“Technically it is semi-pro but still being in college means I need to keep my amateurism and cannot receive payment.”
It will be a big year for player and club with FC Indiana returning to the NPSL after a six year absence. The NPSL is considered the fourth tier of US football and a pathway to Major League Soccer.
“This is FC Indiana’s first season back in the NPSL for six years after they opted out to join MLS regional league and focus on developing players and signing them overseas.
“The NPSL is very competitive and is a stepping stone for players to either play in the MLS or play overseas.”
Deblaere is relishing the chance to play in a different environment under new conditions, as well as the challenge of proving to himself that he’s ready for a higher level. The ultimate goal for the Statesmen midfielder is to make football his profession, and this is his chance to get noticed by scouts and coaches who can make that dream a reality. Getting off to the right start in preseason is crucial to Deblaere achieving his goals.
“My ambitions are to come into pre season in May fit and ready to earn a starting spot. This being my first year I have something to prove to myself and to the club.
“Football is a funny game and in this league anyone can beat anyone. Its going to come down to how hard we work pre season and during the season. I know all the boys will be buzzing to go come May.
“I’m most looking forward to playing in a new part of America and meeting and learning under a new coach. Every coach has a different way of playing and I’m looking forward to experiencing a new club with new goals.
“It’s always been the dream to earn a living from playing the game I love. My main aim is to work hard this summer with FC Indiana and everything will take care of itself from there. I would love to play anywhere as a professional footballer. I know I need to keep working hard before preseason in May because you never know who will be watching when the season comes around.”