Can you imagine being invited to represent Australia twice, but having to decline the invitations because of financial constraints and high school commitments?
Hayden Lobegeier was invited to tour the United States in 2008, and selected again this year for a Tour of Excellence to Brazil in October in the Australian under-17 team.
“It costs more than $6000 and you don’t get a lot of time to raise it by the cut-off date, so I couldn’t go,” Hayden said.
“I’ve got Year 12 to do this year and the tour is right near the end, so I really couldn’t go anyway.”
Hayden is hopeful it might be third time lucky for him next year.
“I’m taking a year off from school next year before I start uni,” Hayden said.
“I’d like to think I’m a possibility but it all depends on if I make the Queensland country side again, if I play well and if I get picked.”
He was advised of his selection after more than a month’s wait after he and four other Bundaberg players represented Queensland Country in the national championships.
Josh Oates, Aaron Miller and Hayden have been members of the team for three consecutive years, while Brenton Morrison and Sam Meyer have been in the team for two years.
Hayden said he thought his mates played well enough for selection in the Australian squad.
“Josh, Aaron, Brenton and Sam are all really good players and could have been picked too,” he said.
“Hopefully, a couple of us might get picked next year.”
Eliminated from the national championships, the team then contested the National Club Championships and defeated a New South Wales state side and a New Zealand international team to take out the title.
“New Zealand actually beat us the first time we played them,” Queensland Country under-17 coach Darrel Oates said.
“We had to turn that around and beat them twice on the day to win the championship.”
Hayden’s mother and manager of the team for three years Fiona Lobegeier credited Oates with an improvement in the team.
“Darrel’s done a wonderful job since he took over as the coach,” she said.
Meanwhile the Futsal champions are involved in field soccer during the winter season.
Sam Meyer plays for Diggers while the other boys play for Across The Waves.