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27 Jun 2013
Ten years of work to fulfill a dream
Dreams come true. Has anyone ever told you that? Sure they have. But do they really? You read about them in books; Jay Gatsby has a hope and dream that he can see across the New York Bay, a faint green light and he captures it, if just for a moment, in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. You see them in movies; Marcus Aurelius fought his adult life for a dream to free Rome, earned at the last possible second, in Gladiator. Maybe somewhere along your journey you became disillusioned, thought dreams were only hopeless imaginations made up by children. Perhaps you became cynical and jaded and made a conscious decision to stop dreaming when things got too complicated and tough.
Noel Ott was born in Sattel and raised in Wettingen (Aargau canton), Switzerland. Wettingen is a town in the north of Switzerland, on the foothills of the Lagern Mountain. Not what one would think as a stereotypical beach soccer resort? Noel grew up like most children loving sports. In fact, he had a problem that most people wish they had, he was very talented in two sports, football and beach soccer.
Noel is now 19 years old and has played in three Beach Soccer events with the National Team. He thought that to be the beach soccer player he wanted to be, he had to decide between the sand and the grass. And he did not hesitate one single second. Beach Soccer was his passion. It was not the conventional or stereotypical dream, but who can say what a dream is? Noel has been attending all of the Swiss Beach Soccer camps since he was nine years old. The above picture was taken of Noel (he is the long haired blonde boy) at his first Beach Soccer camp; it was taken nine years ago, in Bern, with two players still with the current National Team, Stephan Meir, Moritz Jaggy, who were the ones teaching the children the special techniques beach soccer consists of. How many people do you know that have had the same dream since they were little? It is possible that Noel also wanted to be an astronaut, and, in fact, he never forgot about hard studying. (he has recently passed the last of his exams for his Bachelor?s Degree in Economics). But the undeniable truth is that he had a dream from age nine, he fought for it every day, every summer, every year, and is now playing for the Swiss National Team, living that dream.
After ten years of camps, countless hours on the field, even during winter, and his first stunning performances in the National League, he made his National Team debut in November 2012. It was in Dubai, at the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup, facing Brazil. Nothing else...
Switzerland has always had a deep rooted faith in their youth development program. That is very evident from the fact that they reached the FIFA World Cup Final with a very young squad in 2009. With the aid of player-coach Angelo Schirinzi overseeing the youth development program, Switzerland has been able to target the best possible talent within the country. Angelo states, ?One of the main objectives of the National Team is to find and groom new players.? Schirinzi continued to say that he always knew Ott was a great beach soccer player, everyone in the team knew him, but that he needed to wait until Ott was ready, physically and mentally, to compete at the highest level of beach soccer. ?We have always had an attentive eye on youngsters, and when we feel they are ready, we integrate them onto the team. It is important to give the team new and fresh air, to revitalize the team, to make the team more dynamic?? Angelo Schirinzi recalls.
Maybe the Swiss National head coach waited too long, who knows, but the truth is that Noel is ready for the highest level, as he has made it clear since his first trainings with the Alpine National side. Before that, Ott had made his debut in the Suzuki Swiss National League at age 15 in 2009. Then Noel was rookie of the year in 2011 with Havana Shots, the club he has spent his entire professional Beach Soccer career with, and, last year he was named the best player in the Swiss National League.
Noel made a tough decision, probably one of the toughest of his young life. He decided to follow his dreams. Noel Ott is just one example in a long list of dreamers. He will serve as an inspiration to children in Switzerland, fans of Beach Soccer, and dreamers everywhere. Ott said, ?This really is a dream come true, it is a great feeling to reap the rewards of all my hard work". Is it true about dreams, do they happen? The answer is an emphatic YES. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.