The World Cup is on every soccer fan’s mind, including Bai Antoniou’s.
But the gifted striker has something else to be preoccupied with: his role in the under-13 Australian soccer squad.
The Earlwood resident was one of 30 players nationwide selected to play in the elite side after impressing judges with his boot at an Australian Institute of Sport four-day camp recently.
The side will head to Malaysia for two weeks in June.
The 12-year-old plans to keep his preparations simple.
“Play as a team and listen to the coach,” he said.
He said it was amazing to be picked to represent his country in the sport he loves.
“It’s just an active sport and it’s really exciting to play.”
Earlier this month Bai was the leading goal scorer at the FFA National Championships when his side, NSW, won the tournament.
Bai notched up five shots over four matches.
One of his teachers at The All Saints Grammar, Belmore, John Theodoropoulos nominated Bai for the Junior Sports Star award. (See nomination form this page).
He pointed out that Bai, a left-footer, was also the leading goal scorer for his school, All Saints Junior, at the National Schools Futsal Championships held at Penrith last year when more than 500 schools competed for the gong.
His local club is West Sydney Berries, which he represents as part of the NSW Premier League’s Youth League.