Want an Australian to follow in La Liga? Look no further than Wollongong’s 19-year-old Isaac Danzo, who is catching the eye in Spain with La Liga outfit Levante.
The Australian central midfielder has begun his Spanish club’s pre-season and will be playing in Levante's second side, which plays in the highly competitive Spanish third division.
This comes after a starring role with Levante’s U19s last season.
They reached the semi-finals of the youth Copa Del Rey only to be knocked out by Atletico Madrid.
Danzo, who turned 19 in March, was named in the U19 La Liga team of the year last season and got some game time with the second side.
He has signed a further three-year contract taking him to 2022 at Levante.
“He wants to cement himself in the second team,” his father John tells FTBL. "But it's very challenging. It gets you mentally prepared and with big squads, it's so competitive.
"You've got to battle every week.
“After making his starting debut last season with Levante's second side, this season he wants to get a starting position.
“There are 40 players in pre-season that’s cut to 24. He’s signed so he’s one of the 24 but needless to say, it’s very, very competitive.
“The level of the Spanish third tier is quite high. Look at players who come to the A-League, like Isaias, who was from their third tier," he said.
After landing in Spain six years ago, the 19-year-old has steadily risen up the ladder in the hugely competitive Spanish scene and at a club that’s recognized in Spain for its quality youth development system.
Danzo is said to be on the radar of the Spanish and Italian FAs but understands his preference is for Australia.
He was briefly called up for an Olyroos squad when Josep Gombau was working for FFA's national set up.
Before that though, he trained under well-respected coach Jane Talevski with FFA's skillaroos program, run through Football NSW.
The family arrived six years ago where Danzo played for a small club in Barcelona Gava, before his move to Levante.
What’s impressive is the fact that as a central midfielder he’s been able to come into a football culture that produces so many quality midfielders and shine.
And after signing with a big Spanish agent (the same one who looks after Paco Alcacer), expect some big things from this Australian.
Let’s see if the Olyroos and Socceroos give this South Coast talent a chance in the future.
“The hope that in the next two or three seasons he gets an opportunity with the first team,” added John.
"He's done well, scoring and with assists, and that's what got the Spanish FA to inquire about this kid they call 'the Australian."