A 17-year-old Comboyne girl has just returned from the USA National Futsal Tournament with a bronze medal.
Emily McKenzie plays for the NSW Under 20s Women’s Team.
They managed to finish third, getting the bronze medal in the championships. They only missed gold and silver by two goals.
Futsal is an indoor, five-a-side version of football (soccer) played on a hard surface, like a basketball court.
It’s a faster game than football, with a shot on goal every minute or so.
The Australians played a number of lead-up matches all over the San Francisco/San Jose area.
Before going, they held a fundraiser, and were supported by the community and such groups as Wauchope Lions and the Comboyne Rugby League Football Club (Dean Hurrell and Michael Schiffmann) sponsored her.
She and her family are very grateful for the community’s generosity.
Emily goes to Wauchope High School where she’s about to do her HSC. She has played soccer for the Redbacks at Laurieton for six years.
The skills in futsal really help in football; the footwork is a lot faster,” said Emily, who found her trip really interesting.
The teams there do a lot of different things; their training is really intense.
“The teams there do a lot of different things – their training is really intense, their warm-up drills. They have their own spin,” she said.
“In our age group there were four teams. Overall, there were juniors, seniors and adults and there were a lot of people there.
“We spent most of our time in San Francisco which was nice, and in San Jose which was really pretty,” said Emily who was away for 22 days.
Emily hopes to gain selection for tournaments in Brisbane and Sydney which could lead to either another USA Nationals next year and/or the under 20 World Cup in France.