|Danny Seung-Joo Choi - Blacktown City FC|
Blacktown City's winger Danny Seung-Joo Choi has experienced a break out season. The 21 year old picked up 9 goals and 13 assists in a season that saw Blacktown capture the NSW NPL Premiership and once again feature in the FFA Cup final 32.
This weekend Choi will line up for Blacktown City in the National Premier League Grand Final against Western Australia’s Bayswater City. It will be the last game of a long season, but it looms as another watershed moment in the youngster’s football journey.
Choi arrived in Australia with his parents in 5th grade. By year 10 of his Australian schooling the kid from soccer city Suwon (South Korea) had been scouted by K-League club Daejon Citizen. However, after spending three years under Korean tutelage, Choi realised his style didn’t suit the K-League and he quickly found himself back in Sydney playing for Parramatta FC.
After picking up the player of the year award at Parramatta, manager Lee Sterrey referred the youngster to Blacktown City. Now in his second season at Blacktown in the NSW NPL (effectively Australia’s second tier), Choi makes no secret of his desire to go further.
“Every football player wants to play at professional level,” he said. Naming Angel Di Maria and Gareth Bale as some of his heroes, Choi ranked playing in Europe as his ultimate dream.
One look at his video highlights and it's not hard to imagine Choi strutting his stuff in the A-League, particularly considering the dearth of quality left sided players. But Choi's hopes have been hampered by his Visa situation. Understandably A-League clubs are not willing to use one of their allocated Visa player spots on an untried youngster, but by 2016 it's likely Danny Choi's citizenship complications will be resolved.
When quizzed on his FFA Cup experience he couldn't hide his disappointment, "It would have been good to progress further."
Blacktown crashed out in the Round of 32 after leading South Australia's Metro Stars 1-nil at halftime. "To be honest I missed a lot of chances," he said. Twenty-one year old Patrick Antelmi - whom Choi expects to make it to the professional ranks - had given the home side the lead, only to concede in the 60th and 78th minutes, for a nightmare loss.
Regarding this week's clash with Bayswater City, Choi confessed a lack of knowledge of his opponent, but after Blacktown lost the NSW NPL Championship Final to Bonnyrigg, the match is an opportunity for redemption. An added bonus for this weekend's winner is a berth in next season's FFA Cup Round of 32.
Kick off will be 08:30pm AEST, and for those who can't be at the ground, live footage will be screened via the National Premier League's website. For live streaming info visit the NPL site here: