Sal Piccolo may only be 11 years old, but he is getting ready to take his soccer talents international.
The Coquitlam keeper was chosen to backstop the North Vancouver Football Club’s travel team, which will take him to England and Italy for a handful of games and training this spring.
He’s particularly interested in visiting the United Kingdom, where some of the top clubs in the world play.
“I get to see my favourite teams there,” he said. “In England, there is the Premier League. We are going to get to see that.”
Piccolo usually spends his time playing with the Coquitlam Metro-Ford Soccer Club, but was encouraged by a coach to try out for the North Vancouver team when the squad was looking for a goalie.
Four weeks ago he got his chance to show off his skills and was quickly snapped up by the team.
“I had kind of a feeling,” he said going into the January tryout. “But I was kind of nervous. I didn’t really know if I was going to make the team or not.”
The team is planning on hitting the road in May, with two games in England along with some training in Brighton. After that, Piccolo and the squad will head to London for an opportunity to catch either Chelsea versus Middlesborough or Arsenal versus Manchester United FC.
In Italy, he will play four more games around Verona while doing some training in Pescheira del Garda.
Andrea Piccolo, Sal’s mom, said her son has always been interested in athletics and has spent most of his summers playing lacrosse.
But after getting a chance to play in goal, soccer quickly became his preferred sport.
“He says soccer is more what he wants to do,” she said. “Once he got an interest in pursuing goalie, that is when his interest took off.”
Sal said playing goal gives him a chance to be at the centre of the action.
“I don’t really know,” he said. “I like how you get lots of shots. You get action. You can throw your body around.”
• The North Vancouver Football Club’s travel team will hold a fundraiser at the Seymour Pub on Saturday, April 8, between 7 and 11 p.m. Th event will feature TSN’s Ray Ferraro and will include a door prize draw, a 50/50 draw, a toonie toss and a silent auction. Tickets are $25 and include a $10 voucher for food and drink. For tickets and info, email email@example.com.