Soccer scholarship winner gets picked for national futsal team (QLD)

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Sunshine Coast Daily

When Madi Warren began playing futsal earlier this year, she never imagined she would soon be picked to represent Australia.

The 12-year-old has been selected for the Australian Vikings under-13 girls team and will travel to New Zealand early next year to compete.

There, Madi will play in matches against the best representative teams New Zealand has to offer.

If the team does well, it may go on to play in the UK, Malaysia and Brazil.

For Madi, her selection in the team was a proud moment.

“I was pretty happy,” she said.

The Year 7 student began playing futsal through her school, Chancellor State College, which she went to on a soccer scholarship.

She quickly fell in love with the sport, but a lack of girls’ club teams at a junior level meant Madi had to join a senior boys’ team, playing against adults 20 years or older.

She was selected by Vikings Futsal after her exceptional performance at this year’s national schools titles.

Vikings Futsal, a national futsal organisation comprising more than 200 club teams, arranges tours with its international counterparts.

They hope to promote futsal as a sport in its own right, rather than an adjunct to soccer.

Madi, a soccer player for the past six years, said she preferred futsal.

“It’s a faster game, rougher,” she said.

“I just like playing it.”

Her school coach, Candance Macrae, said Madi had a natural talent.

“She’s a great player,” she said.

“Futsal is a lot more technical.

“It’s a lot faster, so you’ve got to be quicker, trickier.”

Madi is to travel to New Zealand in April next year, but will not be able to train with her teammates beforehand.

“We won’t meet until we’re on the plane,” Madi said.

They will spend 12 days away, playing in Auckland, Masterton and Taupo.

They will also get to do some sightseeing.

“We get two days off,” Madi said.

“We get to go jet boating.”

Madi was also selected this year to play for the under-14 girls Sunshine Coast Football Junior Premier League team after four weeks of trials.

The team will represent the Sunshine Coast in a state-wide competition.

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