Honouring his last memory of his father, a young boy is defying the odds by living his soccer dreams.Now, his hard work is paying off with the opportunity to not only meet one of his all time legends, but to play and have the chance at being scouted in France.Dylan Orange (16) a soccer-crazy grade 11 learner at Oval North High School has been selected to play in a tournament in France in July this year.He was informed in January and work has already begun to raise the R36 000 needed to get him to Paris.“Very seldom we come across teens that are so focused on what they want in areas where crime rates are sky high,” says his mother, Alicia. The shy and reserved teen’s passion is evident. “I started playing when I was six-years-old but my interest was first noticed when I got a soccer ball from my father when I was two,” says Dylan.“This was the last gift he received from his father. Two months after his second birthday, his father died,” explains Alicia.“Dylan says ‘I lost my dad before I could make him proud’, but I am sure his father is super proud of his achievements thus far,” says Alicia.Now a single mother to Dylan, she says she is proud to have a son that is not conforming to the social norms but rather interested in his school work and sport. “He is so shy to be acknowledged. He does not do this for the limelight but his coaches all tell him he needs to come out of that. They also want him to start coaching classes,” says Alicia.The trip includes a tour and meetings with some of the European soccer stars.There will be a fundraiser toward the trip on Friday 15 February at Las Vegas Lounge. The theme will be Valentines Day. Tickets cost R30 per person. There will also be a bottle raffle at R20 per entry and a best dressed competition at R10 per entry.The event starts at 19:00.Alicia says they will do all they can to raise the funds necessary for the trip and says all donations are welcome. Dylan started his soccer career at Beacon Spurs where he still plays. He also plays for his school team. He was selected to play in the tournament by Samba Five. He has received many awards and accolades for his soccer thus far. Dylan has been coached by Dawood King since he was jus eight-years-old, and thanks him, all his other coaches, his family and friends for all their support in his career thus far.“I hope to get the opportunity to play professionally and become one of the world’s best players,” he says.To young soccer players, he motivates them to rise above just hard work and encourages them to continue believing in their dreams, and not to blame their circumstances, but rather use it to fuel them and make the best of themselves. V For tickets to the fundraiser, donations or more information, call Alicia on 078 906 4121 or Shabier Van Niekerk on 074 738 2671.