Waiuku Teen Rising Football Star



Lewis Tiller has just landed his big break by being selected to play for the West Ham United Under-18 squad in London, and his father couldn’t be any more proud.

The Waiuku teenager was selected after being scouted and asked to attend a training session recently, where West Ham officials were looking for talent.
Proud father, Deane Sutherland, explained that the opportunity is huge for the youngster.
“Lewis moved to Waiuku last year, as he was off the radar in Dannevirke and there weren’t many sporting opportunities for him down there. He went on to play for Waiuku College, where they became top of their division, and was further snapped up by the Waiuku First Division. I was then befriended by a talent scout. I didn’t know who he was at the time, and he suggested taking Lewis along to the West Ham trial at Kings College. I then found out he was the scout for the club itself.”
Lewis was the only player from the session selected to be part of a training and development squad at West Ham’s London base. However, the more he played, the more interested they became and he was instead chosen to be part of the famous club’s Under-18 squad.
“I am quite nervous, but really excited to be given this opportunity. It will be great to build up contacts,” says Lewis.
Deane explained that they now have to come up with a training programme, to ensure Lewis is ready for the upcoming season.
“Most of the players who have been selected will be just coming out of their season, but we will be only just beginning ours. Lewis is currently rigorously training with the Summer League Premiership teams, who have been very welcoming.”
Lewis and Deane will be London bound mid-February, to help ensure that the rising football star becomes conditioned to the climate. From here, they will also be travelling to Queensland to compete in another tournament.
“If anything, the whole experience will be a great learning curve for him. Lewis’ confidence has grown, and he hopes to bring back valuable skills to the club, who, I believe, have helped him immensely to get to this stage. He holds many of Waiuku’s players in high regard, and coach, Jim Evans, saw the potential that he has, and encouraged us to pursue it further.”

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