Madelyn Ryan and Taylah Power-Casson to compete at the Women’s Youth Pacific Cup Championship in Hawaii in October
Local teenagers Madelyn Ryan and Taylah Power-Casson have capped a meteoric rise to been named in the Australian futsal team to compete at the Women’s Youth Pacific Cup Championship in Hawaii in October.
Having taken the sport up just three years ago, Ryan and Power-Casson have been included in the Australian line-up after surviving a gruelling selection process.
The pair was part of the Maclean High School team that competed at the inter-school national titles. They then participated in the outer-school national titles before taking part in a final selection trial.
“The trials at the start of the year were really hard, there were a lot of good players there, but we managed to get in so that was really good,” Power-Casson, 17, said.
The pair’s rapid rise to the top of the sport after just three years involvement is something that Ryan attributes to a passion for soccer, developed with their local team the Maclean Bobcats.
“We both played soccer first for the Bobcats and then we got into futsal from the playing for the school,” the 18-year-old said.
While there are similarities between the two sports, Ryan said to excel at futsal required different skills to those needed in the outdoor game.
“It’s a different game to regular soccer, even if a lot of the skills are fairly similar,” she said.
“It’s definitely a hard thing to get good at but I guess soccer helped us there.”
While representing Australia in futsal is a first for both girls, Power-Casson was confident of Australia’s chances at the Hawaiian tournament.
“It’ll be hard but the girls have been training heaps, we’ve been going up to Brisbane every couple of weeks for training with the squad,” she said.
The training schedule will become more intense as the tournament draws closer with sessions set to become weekly events.
Meanwhile, any possibility that taking on older players in the under-21 competition would bother the two teens was quickly put to rest by Power-Casson.
“A few of the girls are older than us but we definitely aren’t afraid of that,” she said.
“We just want to go out and play well for Australia and not let our teammates down, that’s all we are worried about.”
While the chief reason for the trip to Hawaii will be for futsal, Power-Casson said she and Ryan were also excited about the prospect of travelling to another country.
“We’re both really happy we get to go, it should be so much fun,” she said.