Myer Bevan, the new All Whites striker with a real desire to score goals

Just over a year ago, Myer Bevan was at Western Springs in Auckland. Now he's about to be an All White.
DAVID JOSEPH/PHOTOTEK.NZ

Just over a year ago, Myer Bevan was at Western Springs in Auckland. Now he's about to be an All White.

If strikers rise and fall by the goals they score, Myer Bevan is on the up and up.

The 20-year-old has been included in the All Whites squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers against the Solomon Islands, which is just reward for his remarkable run of late.

In the past 15 months, he has gone from Auckland club football, to the Nike Academy in England, and then on to Canada, where he is now a professional with Vancouver Whitecaps 2.

Neil Emblen says Myer Bevan has "a real desire to score goals".
DAVID JOSEPH/PHOTOTEK.NZ

Neil Emblen says Myer Bevan has "a real desire to score goals".

He has also represented his country at the Oceania Under-20 Championship and the subsequent World Cup, and at every stop, goals have been the constant.

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There were 13 for Western Springs in the 2015 winter season, which had him among the best in the northern region as an 18-year-old, and four more the following year. 

Then there were five, including a hat-trick, at the Oceania Under-20 Championship last September, where he was named player of the tournament; 25, during the 2016-17 season at the Nike Academy; two, at the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea in May; and two more in his first seven appearances in Vancouver.

"He's one of the only players I've worked with that's got this real desire to score goals," says Neil Emblen, who coaches Western Springs, and is an assistant with the national under-20 side.

"You've got to put yourself in positions where you could get hurt, you've got to want to get in behind and make dynamic runs, and be able to receive and finish. He wants to be good at all of those aspects of a centre forward's game, and that's why he is one. He's just hungry."

Myer Bevan has scored goals everywhere he has gone so far in his career.
ANDREW CORNAGA/PHOTOSPORT

Myer Bevan has scored goals everywhere he has gone so far in his career.

What is more revealing is what happens when the goals don't come.

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"There were times where I've had to say 'are you alright?' after games, and it's because he hasn't scored," says Emblen.

"The rest of his play could be perfect, and he could have led the line well, and really put in a good shift, but he's got this mentality where he wants to score. He was disappointed at the World Cup at times, because he didn't score more goals, and that's the thing about him, he's disappointed every game he doesn't score."

Anthony Hudson first began to talk about new callup Myer Bevan as an option in May.
PHOTOSPORT

Anthony Hudson first began to talk about new callup Myer Bevan as an option in May.

Bevan scored twice at the Under-20 World Cup, in New Zealand's 3-1 win over Honduras. One of them was a penalty - bread and butter stuff - but the other was voted the sixth best goal of the tournament in an online poll.

After beating Honduras' offside trap, and chasing down a long ball played forward, he entered the area from the right at a narrow angle and fired off a rocket of a shot, which hit the crossbar and rebounded down and in.

Emblen says that while Bevan has the selfishness all good strikers need, he marries it with a work ethic that makes him an excellent teammate.

"He's got time for everybody, he's a humble kid, and he just sort of thrives off of that.

"It's about his personality as much as it is about his ability. When he gets to a tournament, or when he gets on the field, it's like he doesn't want to let anybody down, because he's got so many people rooting for him."

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson first talked Bevan up as a contender for the senior team back in May, and while he didn't make the cut for the Confederations Cup, it was clear he would be in the mix sooner rather than later.

Myer Bevan was invited to join the Nike Academy in England last May.
SHANE WENZLICK/PHOTOTEK.NZ

Myer Bevan was invited to join the Nike Academy in England last May.

Around the same time, he signed with Vancouver Whitecaps 2, who are the reserve team for the Canadian city's Major League Soccer franchise.

That deal followed a trial that came on the back of his performances at the Nike Academy, which is run by the sportswear company in an effort to give players from around the world a shot at living their dreams, with players training and playing as if they were at an English club.

In Vancouver, Bevan plays with established All White Deklan Wynne, a longtime friend from back in Auckland, and another Kiwi, Francis de Vries. All Whites keeper Stefan Marinovic is also in town, having just signed for the Whitecaps' MLS team, so the flight home for next month's games won't be a lonely one.

"This is what I've always wanted, to play for my country at the highest level," says Bevan.

"It's been a dream since I was young, and it's been a crazy last few months, but I'm so glad it's all happened, and that I'm about to become an All White."

 - Stuff

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