Great performance at nationals

Far North NSW's youth women team
Far North NSW's youth women team

MANNING futsal players under the banner of Far North NSW produced their best performance at the national titles in Sydney.

It was a gruelling week, some teams playing eight games in three days in the sweltering heat at Penrith or Windsor.

There were several highlights including the fact it was the first time Manning players have competed in the semi-finals of a national titles.

The youth women team played NSW North (Sydney) in the semis being defeated 5-0 by the eventual Australian champions.

The youth men team narrowly missed out on a quarter-final position, edged out by one point by Western Australia.

"The boys played strongly every game and did themselves proud against some of the better sides,'' coach Andrew Somerville said.

"Our best game was against the eventual Australian champions NSW North. Our boys were the only team in the tournament to score as many as four goals in a game against them."

All coaches were extremely happy with their team's performance, as the quality of play has shown a huge improvement on last year.

Plans are now underway for an elite training program to further develop players' skill levels and raise the overall standard of futsal in the area.

The biggest thrill came from the selection of two All Star players from Manning teams, Keegan Hughes (see sportstar of the week) and Rebecca Deer.

Rebecca who toured the UK in 2013 as a 15-year-old, says she was surprised at the selection.

"I feel very privileged to have been selected as an All Star for the youth women," she added.

Keegan Hughes was selected as All Star goalkeeper for the 11 years boys.

"Two All Stars from this area is awesome given that we are competing against representative players from Sydney, Victoria, Queensland and other states around Australia," Manning Futsal president, Peter Forbes said.

"The All Stars are selected at the nationals by coaches of the competing teams who nominate the most outstanding goalkeeper as well as four field players in their competition. It is a huge achievement to be chosen by your opponents."

Selectors watching the games throughout the tournament have released the names of juniors to be offered overseas tours with the Australian Futsal Association in 2015.

The eight players from the Manning asked to tour with Australian junior squads are:

o 11 boys: Keegan Hughes, Sam Modderno and Jarvis Dennes - Malaysia.

o 12 girls: Rubi Grass - USA

o13 girls: Charlie Wares, Kaitlin Reeman, Tyler Potts and Rosanna White - United Kingdom

Selections for youth men and youth women have yet to be released.