Boyd living the dream at the Phoenix

Friday 24 August 2012, 7:52AM

By Wellington Phoenix



Teenage footballer Tyler Boyd is living the dream and he has seven of his mates along for the ride.

Boyd, 17, was one of the eight players chosen for the Wellington Phoenix's first School of Excellence and is determined to make the most of the chance he has been given.

Injuries to senior players has allowed all eight to make the trip to India, and they are having the time of their young lives.

As the party flew from New Delhi to Impahl yesterday another young hopeful, Louis Fenton, was sitting next to Phoenix captain Andrew Durante, something that would have been the farthest thing from his mind a little over two months ago.

"That is the sort of thing you never imagine happening," Boyd said yesterday after a training session.

"I've never experienced anything remotely like it and what we have been given is a fantastic opportunity.

"Being picked for the trip to India is a massive bonus, and I'm glad we all made it because we have become great mates in such a short time.

"I know we are all chasing a contract at the Phoenix but I honestly believe the others will be happy for those who are successful."

Asked about his upbringing Boyd laughs as he explains he was "made in the United States and born in New Zealand".

His mother Sherry and father Ric were living in America but returned to New Zealand for Tyler's birth.

Who knows what a bonus that might be the the All Whites in years to come!

Boyd admits the prospect of going into a professional environment alongside seasoned professionals was a daunting prospect but he soon settled down.

"I didn't know what to expect and was really nervous, but the way the senior players have accepted us has made it much easier than I expected.

"Being in the Indian tour party was another bonus because there is a bit of banter going around and it is making our relationship with the pros even better."

The chance for Boyd to join the Phoenix School of Excellence came out of the blue in a phone call from goalkeeping coach Jonathan Gould who, along with assistant coach Chris Greenacre, has been instrumental in setting it up.

Boyd snapped up the offer and has quickly made an impression on those around him.

In a recent pre-season game against Miramar he scored four goals and had a hand in another couple in a 9-0 win.

"That was really good but I was helped by those around me," he says.

"What I've noticed is that when I make a run the pros see it quickly and that gives me more chances to score."

For Boyd and his mates the past two months have been a fantastic experience and no matter what the future holds they will all be better footballers for being given the chance.