DECEMBER 23, 2021

Early Christmas present is here!

Following the footsteps of our previous group during the summer, Blast FC is sending three new players to Croatia on the Winter European Tryouts. We asked a couple of questions about themselves and the expectations from the Winter European Tryouts so our Blast FC community could get to know the players better and follow them on their journey on our social media channels.


When were you born?

Connor: 08/09/2006

Ryko: 10/17/2005

Henry: 05/27/2004

What is the club you are currently playing for?

Connor: Blast FC

Ryko: Blast FC

Henry: Blast FC

Which age group you play for?

Connor: U16

Ryko: U17

Henry: U18

What was the reason you started playing soccer?

Connor: I don’t remember exactly why I started playing. I was very young. But once I found my love for the game, I worked to be the best possible player that I could be, and I haven’t stopped since then.

Ryko: When I was little, I was really interested and loved watching/playing soccer.

Henry: I started playing soccer because my mom introduced it to my brother and I at a young age and we would always play together. Once I started playing club soccer, I knew I really wanted to stick with it and play as long as I could.

Is there a coach or athlete that you look up to as a role model and why?

Connor: I look up to Luka Modrić. I think him and I have a very similar style of play, and he represents what I want to do in the next years of my life.

Ryko: I defiantly look up to my family (Dad, Mom, and sister) and Coach Lesh. My dad is my biggest role model. The amount of knowledge that I have learned from him is what sticks with me the most. He has always been there for me and the family. Making sure that everyone is happy and also functioning properly. He is constantly pushing me even when I do not feel motivated or am tired. He gives me advice, encourages me, and shows that hard work and dedication will pay off no matter how long it takes. My mom is also definitely one of my biggest role models. Everything that she does for me and the family is something that I will always be internally grateful for. She gets up early to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner, works extremely hard for the family to be happy and organized. She always asks how my day is and always has a smile on her face. My sister has always been my best friend. Even when we get into fights like most siblings do, we are always there for each other. She supports me and wants me to strive to constantly become better every single day. Someone I have to thank and give a big hug to is Coach Lesh. My first time ever training with Blast was back when I was in 6th grade (Around 11 years old). Coach Lesh took me in and showed me what real soccer is. The number of trainings and time that I have spent with Coach Lesh is incredible. He has taught me so much about soccer but also becoming a better person. The number of trainings that I have spent with Coach that he has pushed me is something that I will always cherish. Without Coach Lesh I would not be the person/athlete that I am today.

Henry: The athlete I look up to as a role model is Lionel Messi. I always looked up to him and tried to be like him when I was younger, and he really helped get me into soccer as I was growing up. I am amazed by the things that he does on the field, and I love watching him play.

Which strengths do you believe you have that make you a great athlete?

Connor: My strengths are my vision, my foot skills, my first touch, and my work ethic.

Ryko: Talent, Desire to always win (very competitive), Helping and communicating with teammates

Henry: Some strengths I have that make me a great athlete are my decision making, I am good technically, and I am easy to coach .

Which areas you would like to improve to play soccer even better?

Connor: I would like to improve my strength and my speed.

Ryko: Defending, Recovery- making sure I take good care of my body before/after practice

Henry: I’d like to improve on my speed of play and finishing. These are very important aspects of my position and I believe that I need to improve in them.

What do you expect to get from the European Tryouts?

Connor: I expect to play a European style of play, I expect to play a very high level of soccer, and I expect to improve all aspects of my game.

Ryko: My goal is to learn and see what it really is like to play and train with one of the best academies in the world.

Henry: I expect to see a very high level of soccer that I can learn from and use to improve myself as a player.


Our players are going to GNK Dinamo Zagreb Academy – a professional soccer academy which has produced and is still producing some of the best soccer players in the world – Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Mario Mandzukic, Dominik Livakovic, Josko Gvardiol, Dani Olmo and the list goes on.

You can find more information on their official webpage:

We all know they will give their best at every practice and match. We believe our guys will enjoy the time in Croatia and experience what it means to practice at the highest level.

Blast FC Soccer Academy
5620 St. George Ave
Westerville, Ohio 43082