The reactions - gasps of amazement and screams of delight, followed by rapturous applause - tell their own story. However, these young fans at the FIFA U-20 World Cup are not watching Brazil at their dazzling best, or Mali carrying off another memorable giant-killing. Instead, scores of wide eyes are trained on a single figure and a solitary football. But if that seems unusual, it should be explained that Olly Bowman is not your average young man, and the things he's doing with that ball are anything but ordinary.

"I have a signature move the kids really love, which I call my cap trick," Bowman tells "It's basically me balancing the ball on top of my head, then putting a baseball cap on top and letting the ball drop so that I catch the cap in my mouth and the ball on the back of my neck. It's just something quirky and I like incorporating props, especially everyday ones the kids can relate to. You'll see some of them wearing caps at the show and then all of a sudden I'm doing something like that with one - something they couldn't have even imagined."

Bowman, as you've likely have guessed, is a football freestyler, and the reigning champion of his sport in Oceania. Since the start of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, he has been entertaining fans and inspiring awe-struck youngsters at the Fever Pitch fan zone in the heart of Auckland's waterfront.

"I've been loving it," he enthused. "Weekends especially have just been flat out, doing shows every 20 minutes, and the response has been fantastic. Then during the week we've had lots of school visits in, so I've been putting on performances and teaching the kids tricks. Seeing their reactions has just been awesome.

I've had a few of the kids coming back down after school or on weekends just to show me the tricks they've been practising.

Olly Bowman

"I think it's really good having a huge tournament like this on in New Zealand, and I definitely think it will get more kids into the game. I wasn't sure whether the country would understand just what a special thing it is to have a World Cup like this here, because you know there will be the next Messis and Ronaldos involved in one of the teams. But I know that everyone I've spoken to who've gone to the games have really enjoyed it, and the final has obviously sold out already.

"You'll also get kids coming to the fan zone who're natural football fans, but love the kind of thing I'm doing. You can see the looks on their faces while I'm up there - the reactions are priceless. And for the game of football, if it can get kids picking up a round ball, that can only be good."

In Auckland, the fan zone includes a corporate stand dubbed the 'FIFA Fan Experience', which features skills tests in the shape of goalkeeper, fast-feet and shooting challenges. Children also have the opportunity to have their faces painted and take a football quiz to learn more about the history of the U-20 World Cup and FIFA's activities beyond organising the tournament.

"The kids come down here and every one of them leaves with a smile on their face," said Bowman. "They love all the activities - the shooting, the dribbling, the goalkeeping and the face-painting - and it seems they enjoy the stuff that I do too. There have been a lot more people coming through than I expected and the response has been great to see."

And while the focus of the central focus of the U-20 World Cup is always on developing the next Maradona or Messi, could it be that these Fever Pitch showcases will also help produce the next Olly Bowman? "Absolutely! I've actually had a few of the kids coming back down after school or on weekends just to show me the tricks they've been practising," said the man himself. "That's so cool for me to see, and I'm sure it's just the start of this process for a lot of them. To be inspiring kids like that is a great feeling."