Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week
Saffron Grass – futsal/football
TWELVE-year-old Saffron Grass has enjoyed an exhausting year of soccer and futsal both in Australia and abroad. And she won’t be slowing down in 2018.
Saffron’s has spent 33 of the past 39 days away from her Tinonee home. She was in Spain with the Australian under 12 futsal team for a two week tour. She had only just landed back in Australia before she was on another plane heading to Adelaide to play soccer for NSW under 12s in the Pacific School Games.
Saffron is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana.
She’s enjoying a brief break. However, soon she’ll be on the road again for training with the Newcastle Jets under 13s preparing for the State Premier League to start early next year. She’ll have to train twice a week in Newcastle with matches on the weekend anywhere from Newcastle to Wollongong. However, Saffron assures the travel won’t faze her.
Saffron’s busy campaign started nearly 12 months ago with the Manning team in the national futsal championships played in sweltering conditions in western Sydney. Saffron’s side finished runner up to Victoria, with Saffron later included in the national squad to tour Spain.
She described the two week trip to Spain. where the side was based in Barcelona as ‘a great experience,’ with the Australians playing mainly against local combinations, where Saffron assured her side performed strongly, winning their share of matches.
Saffron received a late call into the NSW team for the Pacific Games.
“I was a shadow reserve, but a player broke her foot, so they bought me in,’’ she explained.
A midfielder, Saffron showed she was up to the task by winning the coach’s award as NSW completed the tournament undefeated, winning the gold medal on goal differential from Victoria.
Earlier this year Saffron was a member of the Football Mid North Coast under 12 side that played in the Kanga Cup in Canberra, where the side finished runners up, while she captained FMNC 12s at the Northern NSW championships in Coffs Harbour.
Football is a family sport and Saffron started playing with Tinonee when she was about seven.
She was spotted by Newcastle officials playing in the State championships last year and has been training with the squad since, even though she was too young to play in the State Premier League. Saffron’s been a fulltime member of the squad since October and she’s looking forward to making her debut with the Jets when the season kicks off.
“Everything,’’ she quickly replied when asked what she likes about football.