Teenager Aidan Coyne comes from a famous footballing family but is out to make his own mark in the beautiful game.
Sixteen-year-old Aiden is on the books at Perth Glory and is the son of former Socceroo Chris Coyne and grandson of former Socceroo John Coyne.
Chris played for the Glory from 2009 to 2012 and earned seven caps for Australia, while John starred in the NSL and won four international caps from 1979 to 1980.
Like his father, Aidan is a central defender who was born in England but has spent most of his life in Western Australia.
Last year the young centre-back spent time on trial in England at Luton Town, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Stoke City.
“I thought it was a good time to see where he was at, because obviously a lot’s changed in football in that period since I played in England,” Chris told The World Game.
“We took him to Luton for the first week and then up to West Brom, Villa and Stoke. He did really well. Luton will have him back, West Brom loved him but he just needs to grow.
“Aidan’s always been the late bloomer. Since we’ve been back in September he’s probably grown four or five centimetres. He’s going through his growth spurt now.
“A stereotypical centre-half is six foot three, six foot four [in the UK]. So it’s been sardines, Omega 3s and salmon, all the super-growth foods you can get.
“With his ability he can do it, if it’s his height and the rest of it that lets him down then maybe he finds a gig in Asia or plays in a different country like a Holland or a Germany where you don’t need that big, dominant centre-half.”
Chris signed for West Ham United as an 18-year-old in 1996 and spent four years in the Hammers’ academy at the same time as future internationals Joe Cole, Jermaine Defoe and Glen Johnson.
The Australian then joined Dundee in 2000 and, after a season with the Scottish side, he spent seven years with Luton and one with Colchester United before landing in the A-League. He retired in 2012 and has been coaching Bayswater City in the NPL Western Australia since 2013.
Chris represented Australia at both Under-17 and Under-23 level, and debuted for the Socceroos in 2008 under Pim Verbeek. His father John was a striker for Brisbane City and APIA Leichhardt in the NSL, while younger brother Jamie was also a professional who played for Perth Glory, Sydney FC and Melbourne Heart.
“The athletic genes are there,” Chris said. “My wife played netball as well, she played for England up to Under-23s. The DNA is there for us to produce one athlete I suppose.”
Aidan started his football journey in Under-6s at Woodvale FC before joining ECU Joondalup. The teenager has represented Western Australia at state level and is now part of the Glory youth team.
“He was at ECU for a few years and then he’s been at Perth Glory,” Chris explained. “He played up to under-15s at ECU and then he just needed to go to a proper academy set-up where they’re training four or five times a week with weights.
“Glory have got Steve McGarry, Jacob Burns, Richard Garcia and Terry mcFlynn, so four people I played with and against who are good football people, but they’re tough as well. It’s an opportunity for him. He goes alright.
“I think he’s got the ability and the commitment, whether he gets there or not, it’s a tough world.”