Alan Croft is like many soccer freestylers. When you watch them perform they almost seem to be in their own world, concentrating in their own “zone.” It is a place Croft can take himself with his creative flair and desire to master tricks. It’s a rush to think that there are tricks out there that no one has ever thought of or done before. Maybe Croft will create the next one. Maybe he will break through and master a famous one. Every day is a new door opening to the world of freestyle. Read our Q & A below to meet Alan and learn about the freestyle scene in Southwest Washington.
How did you get into freestyle?
Alan: I’ve played soccer since I was 5 and I was always a creative player, into tricks or just whatever I could dream up to do with the ball. Then as I got older I watched some videos of legends like Soufiane Touzani, Jermaine Vanenburg, Issy Hitman, who really inspired me to take my street soccer skills to the next level. And after that came freestyle which I have just started training almost 2 years ago. I’m 25 in July.
What do you like most about it?
The thing I like most about freestyle is the creativity. It allows you to express yourself, have your own style and really use your imagination. The community is really supporting as well. Everyone that I’ve met involved really wants one another to succeed and push the limits of the sport.
What’s the freestyle scene like in VanWA / Portland Metro? Why should soccer players also freestyle?
The freestyle scene in Vancouver/Portland Metro area is growing. My good friend Isaiah Escobedo is on Portland’s professional futsal team as well as being an extremely talented freestyler. I’m going to be teaching a camp to the youth on the benefits of street soccer and freestyle in Vancouver at the end of summer. In my opinion every soccer player should learn how to get themselves out of tight situations, take players on, be creative with the ball, and have the confidence to score. Street soccer and freestyle help expand the limits of the player and teach the discipline that’s needed to practice and perform these moves.
What’s one move / trick you are trying to do but just can’t stick it yet?
I’m close to getting a couple of the 3 revolution tricks like Syzmo, and Palle but that 3rd revolution is tough. I haven’t even been freestyling for 2 years yet so give me some time I’ll learn them.
Where do you want to take this performance skill in your future?
Some of my goals with freestyle and street soccer are to be able to teach workshops for the youth, demonstrating the benefits that having these skills provide. I also want to be able to entertain crowds, perform at halftime shows and all other amazing things this sport has to offer, I have a long ways to go, and there are many freestylers much more talented than I am but it’s about enjoying the process, not comparing yourself, encouraging others and helping grow the sport.
Be sure to follow Alan on his social media platforms for his latest photos, videos and appearance schedules!