FORMER Ipswich Grammar School student Joe Duckworth leaves Western Pride appreciative of his two-year stint at the National Premier Leagues club.
His next football goal is representing the Brisbane Roar Youth team in the National Youth League season in coming weeks.
"When the opportunity came up, it was hard to leave Pride but I think it is the right step forward,'' Duckworth said.
"I can't thank everyone there (at Pride) enough. Just the coaches, behind the scenes as well, just the whole club and the way they are doing things is a real tribute to them.
"Hopefully they can keep giving kids the opportunity to go to the next level.''
Duckworth, 19, was Pride's Senior Player of the Year and Golden Boot winner in the recently completed NPL state competition. He scored 11 goals from 21 appearances.
The dedicated attacking midfielder/striker has been one of Pride's success stories, being invited to train with Brisbane Roar in the second half of the season.
After representing the NPL Queensland under 21 All Stars side and scoring the team's only goal, he was invited to attend the elite PS4 Player Pathway Award finals in Sydney. He gained more valuable experience working with elite coaches.
Being secured by the Brisbane Roar organisation was the next important step in his career. "It's a really good opportunity for me,'' Duckworth said.
Since joining Pride at the start of the 2015 season, Duckworth represented the Ipswich-based NPL club 43 times, scoring 14 goals.
He is the third senior men's player to progress from Pride to Roar Youth in the last 12 months. Hayden Mchenery and last season's top scorer Harrison Sawyer were earlier signed.
Pride under 15 player Holly McQueen joined Roar's Queensland Academy of Sport program this season.