Freestyle is an incredible sport that is rapidly spreading worldwide. All you need is a ball… literally.
I come from Highcroft, Tasmania, Australia, that little state Island off the southern end of Australia. The place where I live is very isolated and is a peninsula which was literally a geographical prison for convicts in the old days. The area is accessed by a narrow neck which was guarded by vicious dogs trained to maul escapees. The other side of the peninsula is backed by some of the tallest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere and very rough seas.
Highcroft is barely even a town. It’s covered in bush as we call it and green pastures. Not far from me is the famous storm surfing break ‚Shipsterns Bluff‘. If you have never seen it look it up on youtube.
I may be the most southerly freestyler in the world. There is not much to do in my town and I didn’t have many good Friends at school. At my small school I started out as the kid who always lost in the athletics races and the one who was picked last. Then I discovered football and futsal. The older kids were playing it so I joined in. I had never played it before, I was ten years old at the time. I had always wanted to go to the kids Sunday league but I was never allowed to go because my dad was highly religious and very much a control freak. Born in Australia and my mother is from Germany.
In my first game I stepped onto the court and the ball came to me so I caught it. The other kids were like „Wtf are you doing?“. I kept playing everyday once I learnt how and soon enough it came really naturally to me and i soon realized I was quite gifted at it. As I became older less people started playing it.. Until eventually it was just me. The other kids either sat around talking or played Cricket or AFL. Because of this I started to practice a lot more technical skills and juggling. I would pretend I was playing against opponents and play out little groundmoves I would use to get around them. My own instinctive kind of creative ground moves.
My First Freestyle Experience
Eventually I got bored of doing this… But just when I needed it I discovered freestyle. The local oyster farmer who ran social soccer on a Tuesday handed me and said check this out I think you’ll love it. (football freestyler by Dan Magness) the first episode I saw was Brazil, Arthur Mansilla. I fell in love with the series straight away. I stayed up all night watching the rest of them. The next freestyler I saw was Skora. I would say he is my biggest inspiration in freestyle. I would practice every day in my living room while studying Skora’s combos. I practiced every day and it took me a while to start progressing.
What A Coincidence
I believed I was the only freestyler in Tasmania but by all chances I ended up in the same class as the only other Tasmanian freestyler (Jay Hennicke) when I moved to Hobart to study. It was quite surreal. He recognized me as a freestyler by my ball and shoes. Now we practice together once every few weeks.
I think the universe has it’s way of delivering you what you need.
I couldn’t believe it when Daniel Dennehy came here. It was so surreal. And then later on the F3 world tour in Melbourne which was my first time in a plane or out of Tasmania. It was the most incredible experience of my life seeing Tobias Becs and Skora’s insane combos in real life.