THE road to a World Cup appearance in France begins in the nation’s capital on Tuesday for three Newcastle Jets players.
Sophie Nenadovic, Clare Wheeler and Annalee Grove will join the Young Matildas squad at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra before leaving for China this Saturday.
They are scheduled to line up in two Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-19 Women’s Championship 2017 qualifiers – starting with Northern Mariana Islands on November 2 and finishing with Jordan four days later.
The top team from the round robin competition advances to next year’s Asian Cup, which will be hosted in China in 12 months.
Both of these upcoming appearances also double as qualifiers for the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in France in 2018.
“The standard of the training camp we held at Valentine Sports Park last week has been at a really good level and we have high expectations heading over to China,” Young Matildas head coach Gary van Egmond said.
“We need to make sure we’re focussed and approach both matches with the right attitude to ensure we give ourselves every chance of making it to the next stage of qualifying. The players know the privilege of what it means to represent your country and they are determined to put their best foot forward. I’m confident that with the talent we have in this group we can perform well and be successful.”
Nenadovic and Wheeler, who both turned 18 earlier this year, play defence and midfield respectively in the Jets’ W-League squad. Fifteen-year-old goalkeeper Grove is a member of the Emerging Jets.
* STILL on football and there could be a few more rising stars in the Hunter after two primary schools produced convincing state-title victories in Sydney last week.
Hamilton South (boys) and Wallsend South (girls) claimed the prestigious NSW PSSA knockout crowns.
Hamilton South defeated Narranga 6-2 in the semi-final and Mt Colah 7-0 in the decider with striker Archie Goodwin scoring back-to-back hat-tricks.
Wallsend South emulated their efforts from 2012 by accounting for Woy Woy 6-2 in the top-four showdown and Metella Road 3-0 in the final with Brinley Gentle finding the net on both occasions.
The championship sides won a combined total of 19 matches throughout the year.
* AND it was an emotional weekend of NSW Minikhana State Championship racing out at Junior Trials Mini Cycle Club near Gwandalan.
A new clubhouse was officially unveiled three years after bushfires completely destroyed their old facility.
Fourteen-year-old pair Lachlan Weele and Keaton Chaming were two of the club’s riders to finish on the podium.
They were in different 85cc classes but both clinch Motorcycle Australia champion of champion spots in November.