Teenage forward Dylan Mobbs is determined to keep his European adventure going after signing with Italian club Venezia.
Mobbs swapped Queensland NPL club Brisbane City for the Under-17s side at Serie B outfit Venezia in August last year. The 16-year-old has turned out for Gli Arancioneroverdi against the academies of giants Inter Milan, Juventus and AC Milan.
Mobbs was spotted playing in the Queensland capital through a partnership between the former NSL club and Venezia.
“The club I was playing at in Australia was Brisbane City and for a year or two they’d have the coaches from Venezia out,” he told The World Game.
“They’ve taken a few training sessions for the week as they had a partnership with the club. It was last year at the end of June they came out and I did three sessions with them.
“The youth coach said they were interested in getting me over there for a two-week trial. I flew out within two weeks of being told and started the pre-season with the squad.
“The club is really professional compared to anything I’d experienced in Australia really. All down to the micro-management really, even what you’re eating three days before a game.
“Just living and breathing football really.”
Mobbs admits landing and playing in football-crazy Italy, going from ‘Brisvegas’ to ‘La Serenissima’, was a shock to the system at the first.
“It was completely different to anything I’d experienced,” he said.
“Going from playing in the NPL against people, who go to training twice a week and then play on the weekend. To go from that to people who are training with the first-team, playing for the national team in their age group, it was a massive step-up really.
“The first couple of training sessions I was thinking wow, the standard here is quality. I’ve got to really step up a level to be in this team and grab the opportunity with both hands.
“I was just trying to really put in work in the training sessions, make sure I left everything out there because it’s everyone’s dream really to go and play football in Europe.
“I guess I got my opportunity and made sure I made the most of it. The language barrier started off really difficult but once I started learning a few basic things, getting able to make a few jokes with the boys, I was able to fit in a bit more.
“Once I started talking I was able to pick it up fairly quickly and I started doing lessons outside of school, and also with the school there. I was doing five hours of Italian lessons a week.”
A striker or number 10 by trade, Mobbs grew up in Queensland. He spent his formative years at Eastern Suburbs FC before joining Brisbane City in 2018.
“I’ve always lived in Brisbane,” he said.
“I started off at just a little club called Southside Eagles, around the corner from where I lived. I moved to Eastern Suburbs when I was 10 and played with them until I was 14. I played one and half seasons with Brisbane City in the NPL and then went to Italy.”
Italy has been affected badly by the Coronavirus with more than 230,000 cases and around 33,000 deaths. When the football season was shut down in March, Mobbs returned to Australia.
“Italy did get hit pretty hard,” he said.
“I know the first-team is training now, so everything’s starting to get underway again. But I haven’t really hard too much from the club recently.”
Mobbs is signed until the end of the 2019-2020 season. The striker is waiting to hear back from Venezia, but regardless is keen to continue honing his craft in Europe.
“I’m just waiting to see what happens,” he said.
“I’ve spoken with them briefly about it [my future], but I was told I’ll know in the next few weeks coming as the board discusses who to keep. For me my goal is just to maintain a position at a club in Europe, because it’s been such a step-up.
“To drop out of that sort of standard of European football would be a big loss in my development. So the main thing is just securing a contract with a European side.”