The second-tier of NSW football, the NSW Super League, wouldn’t be to many the first place European clubs may look to scout, but for Sydney University player Harry Ascroft it was. He was playing for the Sydney based side before being signed by Eerste Divisie side, VVV-Venlo on a two-year deal. The young Aussie defender impressed in a trial last July before returning home to finish high school.
Ascroft is quick to praise the mentoring by former Socceroo Rob Wheatley and experienced Polish coach Albin Mikulski in not only preparing him for the move abroad but also facilitating it.
“With Albin’s contacts I was able to gain a trial in July 2013,” revealed the Turramurra local.
“After my two week trial the coaches at VVV were very happy with what I had shown and invited me back in November because I had to complete my HSC as I was in my final year of school.
It was reported in the North Shore Times by Oliver Murray that VVV technical director, Wim Dusseldorp said the Aussie made “such an impression” during his July trial.
“Returning back in November after finishing the HSC, I secured a contract. I was unable to play till the first of January but I was training everyday.”
Starting off playing for the Jong team, the defender has recently found himself on the bench in the first team. The relegation of VVV from the Eredivisie last season has perhaps fast-tracked the exposure of the centre-back to the senior squad, and he is relishing the experience.
“My time at VVV has been very good. A professional club that plays great football with some incredible players,” said Ascroft.
“Personally for me, I am really pleased with my progress as I have been on the bench and continuously playing with firstst team players, including some international players.
“So my development as a footballer can only improve with a nice style of football thy play here which is very tactical, which suits my game.”
Ascroft joins fellow Aussie, Travis Cooper (20) at the club. Having joined last season, the forward from Queensland has made more than a dozen appearances this season mostly from the bench and has netted one goal.
Cooper has been involved with the Young Socceroos, so it will be interesting to see if the eighteen year-old Ascroft can follow suit. His cause will be helped immensely if he can make his debut in the senior side this season.
“I would love to be given the opportunity to play for the youth teams. The U20 World Cup I think is next year.
“So that’s the goal, because I would still be eligible for (the tournament).”