Thursday, November 26, 2020

Football is all-consuming for Bighin and Dillon

Photo:  Luke Bighin (right) about to tackle Devonport's Joel Stone [PlessPix]

NPL Tasmania players Luke Bighin (Kingborough Lions United) and Riley Dillon (Clarence Zebras) are showing themselves to be entrepreneurs as well as footballers.

The pair own Strike Soccer School, which offers after-school soccer activities for youngsters.

The enterprise is going so well that the pair hope to expand their activities to Launceston soon.

I spoke to Luke Bighin about his football career and his plans for the future for the business.

Walter Pless:  How old are you, Luke?

Luke Bighin:  I’m 20 years old.

WP:  How long have you been playing football?

LB:  14 years.

WP:  Which clubs have you played for?

LB:  I have played for Zebras FC, University Soccer Club and my current club is Kingborough Lions FC.

WP:   What is your favoured position?

LB:  I have predominantly played centre-back (right) in senior environments.

WP:  What are your thoughts about the NPL?

LB: I think it is an extremely fun league to play in and to follow.  Each club is intriguing for many individual reasons.  For example, the comeback of Adam McKeown at Kingborough Lions, the major new signings for Glenorchy Knights and Olympia, and the young talent seen at various other clubs.

WP:  What's the main difference between playing in the NPL and in the Southern Championship?

LB:  The main difference as a player is the difference in some of the key fundamentals of football.  As a whole, the physicality, skill level and professionalism is at a higher level in the NPL.

WP:  What made you eventually move to Kingborough Lions United?

LB:  I was intending to try and play NPL again after my season at University.  Jez  [Kenth] had sent me a message so I went down to the Den for pre-season and ended up staying.

Photo:  Riley Dillon celebrates a goal for Clarence Zebras [PlessPix]

WP:  What is the name of your enterprise and how did it come about?

LB:  Strike Soccer School (formerly Hobart Soccer School) came about because Riley Dillon and myself had the shared vision to provide primary schools with an after-school soccer program.  We both believe that soccer provides many benefits for children.  It promotes a healthy lifestyle and builds confidence and resilience.  There are also so many long-term benefits of playing the game, such as being able to start your own soccer school.

WP:  What do you offer?

LB:  We offer various soccer programs, including our main After-School Soccer Program.  Our After-School Program runs straight after school at various different primary schools around the State.  We also run our own holiday clinics during the school holidays.  Our programs are all focused on development and fun.

All the information on our programs can be found on our website (

WP:  Are you expanding the business?

LB:  We are offering our After-School Soccer Program to any primary schools that want to get on board.  We started operating with just two schools in our first term nearly a year ago.  We now operate at seven schools, which include Lansdowne Crescent, Goulburn Street, Montagu Bay, Princes Street, Campbell Street, Sorell School and Moonah Primary school.  We have booked in a number of new schools for term 1 of 2021, which Riley and myself are super excited about.  We are always open to discussions with local schools to see if they want to partner with us so we can provide our program to more children.

WP:  What is your ultimate goal with this business?

LB:  Riley and I don't have any firm goals with the business.  We are just focused on providing the best programs we can for the children we coach.  Soccer is a great activity for children and it promotes a healthy lifestyle while providing development in self-confidence and resilience.  We want to coach as many children as we can and promote the sport in a positive way.

WP:   What is your football future?

LB:  I am hoping to make football full-time.  This means being an established NPL Tasmania player and full-time coach at Strike Soccer School.  Hopefully, I can make this goal a reality in the near future.



Anonymous said...

Oooo...competition for the empire!

Anonymous said...

Hi Walter, do you have if full best & fairest votes have been available for all leagues?

Walter said...

I'm afraid I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Heard a rumour that the southern championship format for next year is the same as this year. I really hope not as it's not a true refection of the competition when a team can finish higher on the ladder after the final five games when the competition is split. As the case this year when beachside finished 6th after the home & away games then ended up 8th after the competition split. how does that work ?
I understand why people are now so critical of football Tasmania.

Anonymous said...

Found this fixture for the 2021 Veto Southern Championship season. Looks like 22 rounds. 11 home, 11 away games playing each team twice.