Former Blacktown City junior, Kevin Ly, is “happy and delighted” at signing his first professional contract with newly-promoted Burnley FC who return to the Premier League after being relegated in their one and only EPL season back in 2009/2010.
The 12-month contract is reward for an impressive season with the U18s and offers the midfielder a chance to push for a place in the first team, not that the level-headed youngster is thinking that far ahead.
“Well yeah of course that’s what I’m aiming for,” he admitted.
“But at the moment I want to focus on doing well in the reserves. Then hopefully getting a chance to be with the first team on more regularly basis. For now its step by step.”
Ly is under no illusion how much work is required to make that step up. He also knows it is manager Sean Dyche who he’ll have to impress.
“To get into the first team you’ve got to work hard and like I said before, I want focus on the reserves and perform consistently.
“Then if the gaffer likes what he sees and feels I deserve it, then he will keep me up there,” said the Australian youth international.
“I will keep working to get my chance and break into the first team then hopefully make a debut with the first team in the EPL.”
The philosophy of The Clarets matches the ambitions of the young Aussie with a focus being on bringing through players from the academy to the first team as academy manager Jason Blake explained to the Lancashire Telegraph:
“We work hard to ensure that players moving into the Under 21 Development Squad do not get comfortable as a professional but are motivated to continue their development.”
Ly believes that the environment at Turf Moor and the UK in general has been beneficial to him achieving his goal to be a professional footballer.
“First, I think the football in the UK is a lot quicker, mentally and physically demanding. But that has helped me improve and realise what it takes to become a professional footballer,” revealed Ly.
With his club future now sorted the question remains as to his ambitions for his country especially with the 2014 AFC U19 Championship coming up in October in Myanmar. However, the New South Wales native knows that any national team ambition can only be achieved through club form.
“Of course every player dreams to play for their country. It is the best feeling,” said Ly.
“But at the moment I want to focus on my football at Burnley FC, and perform well. Then hopefully get the chance to be called up and play for the national team, that would be great and a big bonus.”
Australia is never far from the young player with a number of Aussies at the club including Callum Richardson who along with Ly was offered a professional contract for the upcoming season.
“Yeah it’s great to have other Aussies in the team, because you’re living a long way from home and it’s good to have players that make it feel more like home and understand you,” said Ly.
With the focus squarely on his club form in the 2014/15 season, the following year will be a crucial one in the midfielder’s pursuit of his professional football dream.