We sat down with Ruon Tongyik and spoke with him about playing football as a youngster and the moment he knew he could make it.
As a child, Tongyik’s first experiences of playing football were at recess and lunchtime with his friends at primary school.
It wasn’t until 2011, that Tongyik started to take football more seriously thanks to some encouragement from his peers, making the decision to sign up to his local club and play more competitively.
“My first junior club was Adelaide Hellas but before that, I was just playing for fun at school,” reflected Tongyik.
“I really started getting into it when I was getting compliments saying I could make it far in football.”
Family have always been of a high importance to Tongyik and despite their concerns of him playing football professionally, Tongyik believes it all turned out exactly to plan.
“My family were always encouraging and always wanted me to put in my best work, no matter what I did,” said Tongyik.
“At first they weren’t 100% with me playing football, they wanted to get a job and support the family.
“But I think it turned out perfect.”
And by perfect, it certainly was. Tongyik had a meteoric rise, breaking into Adelaide United’s youth system and successfully guiding the Reds to NPL Promotion and an NYL Conference A Premiership.
Calm beyond his years, it was no surprise then that Tongyik was crowned Adelaide’s Youth Player of the Year in his first season at the club – capping off what was a fantastic year for the youngster.
An opportunity to step into the first team ranks was then offered by City and Tongyik made the move Melbourne, signing his first senior contract.
Fast-forward to two seasons later and Tongyik is part of a new guard of Wanderers, ready to make an immediate impact thanks to the guidance of head coach Markus Babbel.
“(Markus) has really encouraged me a lot and for the defenders, spoken individually with us and given us some points and knowledge,” said Tongyik.
“It’s been very good so far and having the experienced players you learn a lot from them and they encourage you to give it your best.”