Narrabri teenager Lennon Simmonds flew out of the country from Sydney International Airport this morning as he embarked on the trip of a lifetime, chasing his dreams on a three-week soccer tour of Europe.

The 13-year-old has aspirations of becoming a professional soccer player, or as many people around the globe would say, a footballer, and his journey with the highly-renowned Wanderers Australia group is a step in the right direction.

He was identified at the NSWPSSA boys’ soccer championships in Griffith last year and was invited to tour, which he proudly accepted.

He will be accompanied by coaches, officials, teammates, and parents and carers of the players, including his own parents Chris Simmonds and Candice Baguley.

The youngsters will play matches and be put through training sessions by some top-quality coaches while in England and Paris.

They will fly into London via Tokyo and spend 12 days in England before taking off to Paris on December 13, where they will spend six days before returning home.

While abroad, Lennon and his teammates will have the chance to attend and watch English Premier League, English Women’s Super League and Championship matches, and there will also be plenty of sightseeing and some stadium tours.

Lennon’s goal is to one day play in the A-League and the English Premier League, and he is hoping that this trip will be one of many positive steps on that journey. He has been training on his own as much as possible across the past two months during the off-season, as well as playing in the Wee Waa summer fives comp, and is now ready to make his mark on the international stage.

The European soccer tour continues a memorable year for the Narrabri boy, who was a part of the Northern Inland Academy of Sport’s under-13s side that were crowned champions of the 2023 Northern NSW Premier Youth League Division C competition in September.

They topped the ladder after going through the campaign with 17 wins, three draws and just one loss, and they met the second-placed side West Wallsend at Rockwell Automation Park in the grand final where they won 3-2.

Lennon was then named in NIAS’s 2023/24 Future Stars Program for both soccer and athletics earlier this month, which sees young people who have been identified as possessing great potential get the chance to receive extra training and coaching.

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