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Article by: Mickey

Thu, Oct 21.21

2021 has been quite the year so far for Dylan Wenzel-Halls. He's moved state and spent most of his time in Melbourne so far in lockdown. After leaving the club he supported as a kid to join Western United, it's definitely a year he won't forgot and now he’s full of excitement for his new challenge.

We know he's going to smash it this season under John Aloisi. We already can't wait to check in with him again soon. 

We hope you enjoy this one and get to know the young striker even better!
Thanks for spending some time with us, Dylan. How have you and your partner settled into life down in Melbourne? Had you both been here much before your move to Western United?
We have settled really well into Melbourne. Tay has taken up an awesome opportunity working in a big hospital. We love the city of Melbourne and are really excited to be out of lockdown to experience all that Melbourne has to offer.
I love being a part of Western United, such a fantastic, driven, professional and ambitious club. The boys have been welcoming, the change room is good to be a part of and I get on with everyone well which makes settling in easier.

What have you been doing to keep busy off the pitch during lockdown? We promise it’s a great city - even if we’ve been locked down most of the time you’ve been here!

During lockdown most recently I have had my little Dachshund Luna join us. I have enjoyed walking her and taking her to the beach. During lockdown I have been exhausted because training has been so intense. It's been super enjoyable though.
In my down time I have studied, worked on uni assignments and so on. I also bought a coffee machine, so I have been making coffee after coffee trying to get better at that.

Is this the longest you and Tay have been apart from Luna?
It had been four and a half months. I FaceTimed her everyday while we were apart, she’s the best company and puts everything into perspective. It is the best feeling coming home after a tough day at training to Luna and Tay.

What are some things you’re looking forward to doing once Melbourne opens back up?
I love going to restaurants and cafes. I can't wait to explore them as I know I will definitely enjoy Melbourne's coffee culture. I can’t wait to have my family down here as well to show them what Melbourne has to offer too.
Something I really want to do is see the great ocean road.

Dylan Wenzel-Halls

Can you please tell us a bit about your style and some of the brands you like to wear?
In Queensland being so hot, a pair of shorts and a shirt was my staple go to. Now I am in the fashion capital of Australia I’ll have to get into my fashion a little more.
Typically my style is very basic. My go-to's are jeans or shorts with a nice shirt and some of my NB sneakers. McQueens and Arigatos get a run too.

As a New Balance athlete, what are some of the lifestyle products you like to wear most?
I love New Balance, they look after me so well which I am so lucky for. I love their 550’s, 1500’s and 327’s and I enjoy wearing New Balance on a daily basis. They have so many products to chose from, Its hard to pick my favourites.

Talk us through the Spain bootleg tee you have. Who’s your favourite player from that team?
That Spain tee is oversized and super comfy. It's my mates brand actually.
That was such a quality national team - so good to watch. I really like the retro football vibes at the moment, retro jerseys and tees are a look that I like to try and pull off.

What was your early career like back in Ipswich? Was it always football that you wanted to play?
I always wanted to play Football despite my family having a rugby league background. I remember my parents took me to my uncle’s rugby game. There were biffs and all sorts going on and that really turned me off the thought of even trying the game out.

Dylan Wenzel-Halls

Scoring all those goals and winning Western Pride’s first piece of silverware must have
really caught the attention of the Roar?
After being released from the Roar, which was a difficult moment in my career, not knowing if i’ll get the chance again to play professionally was tough.
After that I worked harder than anyone else around me. I was obsessed with the feeling of improving every day, proving to people I deserve to be a professional and working hard day in day out until I achieved my goal.
I knew I could score goals, I went out in every game to score goals and to never be satisfied with just one or two. I wanted to stand out and be the best at NPL level to get my chance in the A-league.
Signing with the Roar, having John Aloisi giving me my chance is something I will always be grateful for.

What are your early memories from supporting Brisbane Roar - did you used to go to games?
When I was younger, My family had season tickets to the Brisbane Roar for many years. I enjoyed going to the games and supporting them - watching them each week made me determined to play for them some day.
Watching the club throughout their successful years and attending grand finals is something I will never forget.

Who were the players you looked up to from the Roar and the rest of the league?
Growing up I always looked up to Matty Mckay, he was so intelligent, professional and a great club captain. I enjoyed watching Berisha scoring all those goals for Brisbane too. Broich was incredible, so good to watch and so influential on the field.

What was it like playing under Robbie Fowler in Brisbane? Did he have an impact on you in terms of finishing and playing the striker role?
Of course, being the fantastic player he was he helped me in all aspects of being a striker. Most notably, he worked with me on holding the ball up and my link play, under Robbie it improved so much, despite that not being a strength of mine.

Dylan Wenzel-Halls

What was he like off the pitch? Any funny stories you can share?
He was funny! He used to make jokes all the time about his Champions League trophies and heaps of other stuff. He also spoke about other famous players so personally. Players like David Beckham who I grew up idolising.

Are there any players you look up to around the world, past and present, in terms of style? Other players have mentioned Bellerin and Beckham as examples.
Growing up the reason why I supported Manchester United was because I idolised David Beckham and Wayne Rooney. I loved the player Rooney was on the pitch. He played with such passion and hunger; he was immense.
I idolised Beckham on and off the pitch. His style, his haircuts, everything about him, I idolised.

What’s it like having Alessandro Diamanti to learn off? Reckon you’ve picked up a few style tips from him as well?
Dia is unbelievable, what he can do with a ball at his feet in amazing. He sees and plays passes that seem impossible. You always need to be expecting the ball from him. He’s professional, competitive and demanding which only brings up the standard of the playing group. He is phenomenal.

Being a young player, are there any players you model your game on at Western United or around the league?
Personally, Jamie Maclaren. He’s a goal scorer who runs channels so well. His movement and ability to anticipate where he will score goals is something I try to improve upon myself and emulate.

Dylan Wenzel-Halls

What’s it like linking back up with John Aloisi who signed you when you were back at Brisbane?
John is so professional. The environment he creates is fantastic. It's very organised and every player knows their roles within the team. The teams he has coached have always had a clear brand and attractive style of football. He gave me my first chance as a professional, and for that I will always be appreciative.

What’s been your favourite moment from your career so far?
I have had plenty of favourite moments so far in my short career. Moments that stand out to me though would be making my professional debut, scoring my first professional goal and scoring a 90th minute winner in the NPL grand final.
I love waking up each morning to go to work and do what I love doing everyday, it’s the best feeling.

Best goal?
I love every goal I score. I have scored a few good goals in the A-league but my favourite goal I have scored would have to be my goal against Sydney FC in my first season. No one gave us a chance to win that game, we beat them 2-1, I scored the winner in the 89th minute or so.
I genuinely love and crave the feeling of scoring goals. It’s my job, its the best feeling.

What are you hoping to achieve at the club this season?
Personally, a goal of mine is to hit double digits this season for goals. But most importantly I just want to contribute to winning games and contribute to having a successful season as a team. The was to do that is by scoring goals, assisting and influencing matches.
I want to stay injury free, playing regularly and consistently.

Photography by Aleksandar Jason.

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