RISING STAR STAYING GROUNDED

His name may rarely have been out of the headlines since his starring role for Australia at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, the highlight of which was a stunning goal against reigning South American champions, Colombia. But there seems little chance of Glory young gun Danny De Silva getting swept away by the global hype surrounding him.

His name may rarely have been out of the headlines since his starring role for Australia at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, the highlight of which was a stunning goal against reigning South American champions, Colombia.

But there seems little chance of Glory young gun Danny De Silva getting swept away by the global hype surrounding him.

While admitting that talk of interest from clubs of the calibre of Manchester United and Real Madrid is very flattering, the remarkably mature 16-year-old is keen to stress that his priority is trying to secure regular first-team football with Glory during the upcoming Hyundai A-League campaign.

"It (the World Cup) was a great experience," he said. "I really enjoyed it and it's definitely a memory that I'll remember forever. "I had lots of people ringing up and saying congratulations after my goal against Colombia and I appreciated that, but you've got to stay humble and not get a big head about it. "My ultimate goal is to play in Spain's La Liga, but I've still got a long way to go and many doors could be opened. "We'll just have to see what happens and it all revolves back to the fact that I'm still very young. "I'm still happy to live in Perth and play for Glory. "I'm in no rush to go anywhere. "I'm happy to play the two seasons here with Glory and see what happens when I'm 18. "We always decide things as a family and Alistair (Edwards) is a great mentor in helping us to make these decisions."

De Silva's face lit up when asked to describe his wonder-strike in Australia's opening group game and he was similarly enthusiastic when quizzed about the prospect of rekindling his attacking partnership with fellow-Young Socceroo Jamie Maclaren who signed a three-year deal with Glory earlier this week.

"With the goal," he said, "it was a great through-ball from Andrew Hoole, I saw my chance, went one-on-one with the 'keeper and I just took it. "As it was rolling in, I was just relieved to see it hit the back of the net. "I can't even really explain the feeling when I saw it go in and the next second I was being spear-tackled to the floor by the rest of the team! "It was definitely a great feeling. "As for Jamie, he's a great lad and a good kid. "He's probably one of my better mates in the (Australia) team and I'm looking forward to working with him this season. "We link up well together and he's definitely deadly in front of goal. "He's a player that scores a lot of goals and I'm sure he can make a big impact in the A-League. "I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do on the field together."

Glory Assistant Coach Gareth Naven, meanwhile, believes that De Silva's character will help him remain grounded and improve as a player, as will the advice of the people he has around him.

"Daniel went to the World Cup and had an amazing three or four weeks away," he said. "Everyone saw him play against Colombia and he did really well. "But he's still a young bloke with a bit to learn and I think what's going in his favour is that he's pretty humble and pretty down to earth. "He doesn't want to get ahead of himself and I think he's in a really good environment at the moment where people won't allow that to happen. "Credit to him, he's worked hard and at this point, I think he's on a good path."

Gareth Morgan