IT COULDN’T have been a more perfect start to National Premier League football for Dominic Swinton, with the Ballarat Red Devils speedster playing one of the games of his life to spur the team on to its maiden NPL victory last Saturday.
Less than one week later Swinton has already put the historic event to the back of his mind but is still coming to terms with the idea of Ballarat competing in Victoria’s highest competition.
“It’s still sinking in, playing against all these traditional, big clubs,” Swinton said.
“Everyone wants to prove to themselves, the team and the supporters that they belong here.
“At the start of the season I remembered thinking ‘am I going to be good enough for the first squad?’”
Based on last week’s dazzling two-goal effort, which included a piece of sheer magic in the second-half, the wingman is well and truly on the way to becoming a first-choice player.
Swinton, still only 26, is now an old hand by Red Devils standards, having been with the club since 2004.
He was born in Scotland but moved to Ballarat in 2003 and in the time since he has been a part of the Red Devils’ ultimate highs in being a successful force of Football Federation Victoria’s state league divisions to the dismal lows of last season.
This year is different altogether, largely because of the professionalism coach James Robinson has installed in the group.
“It’s (the preparation) extremely professional now and it’s filtered through to the boys,” Swinton said.
“I’ve already learnt a lot, my game has definitely improved – and it needed to.
“I need to be more efficient with the ball and I want to make sure it’s a positive outcome when I deliver it.”
The Red Devils will face Northcote City away from home in round three action tomorrow.