SOUTHEND Diving youngster Connor Van Dal is dreaming of following in the foot-steps of his training partner Oliver Dingley.

Van Dal, 13, won gold at the Bimbingamba international event in Italy, last month.

And he now wants to go on and secure success in the senior ranks, just like Dingley who won a bronze medal at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“I would love to go on and do as well as Olly as done,” said Connor.

“It’s brilliant that he was able to show how good he is at the Commonwealth Games and it’s brilliant for me to be able to train with him, too.”

Connor already trains six days a week at Southend’s base at Garon Park and regularly clocks up more than 20 hours of training in that time.

He was boosted by his recent medal winning heroics in Italy and is now keen to build on that triumph.

“It was my first international and it was great to win a gold medal on the one metre springboard,” said Connor.

“It was all good experience for me as well and I definitely learnt a lot which will help me push on for the future.”

Connor, a pupil at Belfairs High School in Leigh, confirmed his potential at the start of the year with a series of fine displays in the National Championships.

He claimed one gold, one silver and two fourth place finishes before being called up in to the national squad.

And Connor feels having previously taken part in gymnastics has enabled him to excel in diving.

“I think doing gymnastics for two years certainly helped me when it came to diving,” said Connor, whose talent was picked up during the Primary Schools Talent Identification programme run by his club.

“It’s not exactly the same but there are certain similarities and I think that’s why I took to it so quickly.

“I really enjoy it and want to do as well as I possibly can at it.”