An aspiring Dubai-based youngster who had to turn down a trial with Toronto FC 12 months ago is hoping to make his dream of playing professional football a reality in what has been an incredible journey so far.
William Wiedmer, 12, was given an opportunity that any young kid would dream of when he was asked to trial for the MLS outfit’s Under-12 team last summer. However it came at a time when his family was moving to Dubai and he reluctantly had to reject the chance.
That only fuelled his determination and as soon as they arrived in the UAE in September 2017, his parents enrolled him at Spanish Soccer School (SSS) and LaLiga Academy. The coaches were immediately impressed with his raw talent that saw him train at Under-13 at SSS while playing games at U-14 level at LaLiga.
Wiedmer will travel to Spain next summer after impressing in the du LaLiga High Performance Centre trials that will see him compete against La Liga academies.
It’s another opportunity to showcase his talent and take a step forward in making his dream come true but the fact that he has reached this far is even more impressive.
Born with pyloric stenosis – an immature digestive system that prevented him from keeping food in his stomach, at age two and half, William’s parents asked doctors to postpone the operation until the end of the summer holidays.
By that time, the condition had gone but had already shown a strong interest in football after getting a pair of shorts with a football on them. It was something he loved so much that he wore them daily before they didn’t fit anymore.
He also stopped practising judo to focus fully on playing football.
Now aged 12, Wiedmer, who studies at Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai, recalls that moment of missing out on the Toronto trial while also admitting doubts over whether he would be able to follow his dream in Dubai.
“That was very hard,” he of the Toronto trial. “I actually cried because I had worked so hard and it was what I was really hoping and training for. I also wasn’t sure what the teams in Dubai were going to be like and if anyone would want me to join their team.
“It’s really hard to try out for any new team because nobody ever wants to pass to a new kid, and it’s really hard to shine. You almost have to earn the trust of your team-mates before they will pass the ball.
“I was really lucky because the coaches at both clubs I was playing with really liked my style and put me onto their top teams. Unfortunately, I had to choose which team to play matches for even though I trained with both, so I chose the LaLiga team because I was playing on the team higher than my age group.
“I thought it would help me to develop faster if I was always playing with and against kids who were taller, faster and stronger.”
Should he impress the scouts in Spain next year, Wiedmer will take one step closer to his goal but already has ambitious plans.
“I really want to play football professionally,” he said. “I know it will take a lot of hard work but I would be so happy to play for Switzerland or Canada. I want to score the goal that takes Switzerland into their first World Cup quarter-finals.
“My next goal is to be the best on my HPC team, and to play super well when I go to Spain next summer to play against all the top academies there.
“If the scouts like what they see, then they watch you play over the years and when you are 16, they will invite you to a trial on their professional teams. Then you just need to hope that they offer you a place on their team.”