Boyd eyes Wellington Phoenix youth slot
Waikato teenager Tyler Boyd is hopeful he can cook up a first team spot for himself during the Wellington Phoenix's pre-season trip to Australia and India.
The former Waikato FC and Melville United striker has impressed since joining the A-League club as one of nine "school of excellence" youngsters in June and has a specific target ahead this month. Boyd wants to grab one of the two under-21 places the club must allocate among their first team squad for the 2012/13 A-League campaign and believes he has a decent chance to do so when he heads across the Tasman on Friday with Ricki Herbert's side.
The Phoenix will play five games in 14 days, starting with a match against the Newcastle Jets on Saturday before contesting a four-team tournament in India. Boyd knows he has stiff competition from his fellow triallists but still wants to chase a spot in the full squad, which was his initial goal when chosen as one of the country's most promising prospects.
"That's what I'm planning to do," Boyd said.
The livewire striker played the first half of a pre-season friendly against Lower Hutt last week and was due to turn out again today against Miramar Rangers.
"It was a bit of a surprise to get a start up front, but it was a great experience and I think I did all right.
"I'm hoping I can get picked but all the boys here probably have an equal chance. I've just been trying to do what the coaches tell me to."
Joining Boyd among the youngsters keen to impress are Scott Basalaj, Tom Doyle, Tom Biss, Luke Rowe, Louis Fenton, Justin Gulley, Alec Solomons and Hamish Watson.
Boyd, who netted seven goals for Melville in the Northern League premier division before heading to the capital midway through the season, sounds like he's living the dream.
"It's been brilliant down here - I'm just loving it. It's the best opportunity I could ask for. I've been learning a lot and the senior players have been tremendous."
Boyd gets one day off a week, among a schedule which sees them sometimes train twice a day, combining football and gym sessions.
"Everything is a step-up in training - the speed, the technique, physically it's definitely tougher and my fitness is going to a whole new level."
Boyd said the camaraderie among his fellow apprentices had helped him to quickly settle in to his move away from home.
"We all get along really well. It was an interesting first couple of weeks on the cooking side - we all cook our own meals and they're not exactly like mum makes.
"But we're getting better."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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