A former Ballarat City soccer player from Warrnambool is set to head off to the United States on a four year sporting scholarship at the Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Michael Mullins, 20, spent three-years with Ballarat City after coach James Robinson noticed his standout tryout with the side as a 16-year-old.
Mullins says he feels as if he owes a lot of his sporting success to the time he spent under the coach.
"Robo (James Robinson) was unreal... he taught me a lot," he said.
"I was plucked from what was a really poor league and thrown straight into training with a senior NPL2 side. It was an amazing experience for me, the time I spent with Ballarat City helped me mature as a player and a person."
After his time at Ballarat Grammar ended, Mullins headed down to Melbourne to study science at Monash University and began playing for Kingston City in the National Premier League.
The young defender struggled with injury during his time in Melbourne, missing 13 games across 2018 due to an ankle injury.
"The injury was pretty difficult, I missed about 13 weeks. I ended up spending that season just getting healthy... it's reassuring to know hard work does pay off."
Following multiple strong showings with Kingston, Mullins was spotted by a scout from the Saint Joseph's University.
After some consideration, Mullins accepted the scholarship and is excited to start his career as a student athlete with the Hawks.
"I'm excited, it's going to be a great way to go around and see the country," he said.
"To be able to go over there to play and study full-time without worrying about too many other things is amazing. It's a great opportunity to better myself as a player and take soccer as far as I can."
Set to jet off on August 10, Mullins isn't worried about heading abroad on his own.
"I've been living away from home for the past five years so I've gotten over being homesick," he laughed.
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