SOCCER runs in Nathaniel Atkinson’s blood.
Following in his family’s footsteps at age five, the now 16-year-old talent first took up the sport.
On Friday, the ex-Riverside High School student will embark on a crucial step in his ambition to become a professional soccer player— joining A-League club Melbourne City’s youth team for 2016-17.
‘‘I just wanted to be like the rest of the family, everyone was brought up with soccer, all the uncles played and I was living with them at the time,’’ Atkinson said.
‘‘I moved to Hobart at 14 (years) to play in the National Training Centre, which has been great for my development.
‘‘I am looking to improve in the next 12 months and make a name for myself within the club and stay there for as long as I can.’’
The midfielder will play in the NPL Victoria 1 competition this year and is hoping for a start in the Youth League next season.
Atkinson has spent the past two seasons with Tasmania’s NTC squad, scoring hat-trick against Melbourne City on tour in Melbourne last year.
The Manchester City fan has also played for Riverside Olympic and will study at Melbourne City College Of Football based at John Fawkner College.