Louis D’Arrigo is a step closer to realising his dream of playing professional football in the Hyundai A-League after signing a scholarship deal on Tuesday.
The 16-year-old is the latest young talent to come off the Adelaide United production line and has made giant strides forward in the past year.
D’Arrigo starred for the Young Reds during the Foxtel Y-League 2017/18 campaign, which saw him claim the competition’s Player of the Year Award during the Dolan Warren Awards in April.
He has since maintained that level of performance in the National Premier League SA (NPL) and deservedly handed a scholarship contract with the first-team.
“I’m pretty happy to be awarded this because now it gives me the chance for the coaches to look at me in order to play with the first-team in the A-League season,” D’Arrigo said.
“So obviously it’s a good opportunity for me to get a look at the first-team coaches and train with the first-team boys as well.”
While the holding midfielder was thrilled with his promotion to the senior squad, he acknowledged this was just the beginning in achieving his objective.
He further added that analysing, Reds Captain, Isaías, has helped evolve his game.
“I think some of my hard work is paying off now and hopefully I keep improving and keep getting better,” he said.
“As I said to improve and become an A-League player each week I’m looking in my position and how I can get better.
“So Isa (Isaías) is a good role model for me, so I always look and see what he can do and then hopefully do it in a game or in trainings as well.”
The young midfielder is also one of 18 Australian U-18 footballers that will compete in the 2018 SBS Cup Youth Football Tournament in Japan later this month.
The side coached by Caltex Socceroos Assistant Coach, Ante Milicic, will face the U-18 National Teams of Japan and Paraguay, before meeting the Shizuoka Selection which represents the Prefecture of where the tournament will be held.
D’Arrigo is another starlet that has impressed during the recent friendly matches with the Reds and always appears unflappable in possession.
“I think in the pre-season games I’ve done fine, I’ve fitted in well,” he said.
“So if I get my opportunity off the bench just take it and see where it goes from there, hopefully I can keep making the bench.”
He also hopes to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors that have progressed from the Club’s Youth Team and into the senior side.
The likes of Ryan Strain, Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and Jordan Elsey have all made a successful transition.
“My goal from the Youth Team was to make first-team as those other players, who went from the Youth Team to first-team did as well,” he said.
“So I think the Youth Team has a good pathway in order to get you ready for first-team football.”