Far North kicks goals for a futsal revolution (QLD)

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The Cairns Post

Futsal fever: Far North’s Australian All Stars (from left) Ryan King, Gabriel Hawash, Matt Filip and Robert Donnelly (front).

Futsal fever: Far North’s Australian All Stars (from left) Ryan King, Gabriel Hawash, Matt Filip and Robert Donnelly (front).

Five of the region’s most talented young futsal players have been recognised as among Australia’s best in their age groups.

Robert Donnelly, Gabriel Hawash and Matthew Filip, all from Cairns, Atherton’s EJ Miller-O’Neil, and Innisfail’s Ryan King were named as Australian All Stars after impressing at the National Futsal Championships in Sydney.

Northern Australia Futsal CEO Tony Cifuentes said the latest achievement proved Far North’s rising relevance on indoor soccer’s national scene.

“The teams know when they play Far North Queensland, they know they’ve got a game on their hands,” he said. “We do extremely well considering we go up against (state teams) like New South Wales and Victoria.

“And it really shows with how many kids we have in the All-Star teams.

“All these kids have put in a lot of effort and it’s great to see them get rewarded.”

All Star selections are reserved for the top five players in each age group.

Far North Queensland usually produces All Stars each year, but never as many as five since the championships started 10 years ago.

“It’s a very good result and we seem to be improving each year – you can’t ask for more than that,” Cifuentes said.

Far North Queensland had five teams competing in the championship.

Matthew Filip and Gabriel Hawash under-14 boys team and the under-15 girls team made the grand final, while Robert Donnelly’s under-11 boys team and E.J Miller-O’Neil’s under-13 boys bowed out in the semi-finals.

Ryan King’s under-15 boys team came seventh in a tough division.

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