Brodie Kluytenberg part of the U12 Queensland Country squad
Brodie Kluytenberg was born with patent ductus arteriosus, a heart disorder which causes energy depletion.
He was incapable of walking more than 40m without his parent’s assistance, before doctors corrected the defect when he turned two.
Now they can’t catch him.
Eight years after the surgery, Kluytenberg, 10, is making up for lost time.
The Maryborough boy will take part in next year’s National Futsal Championships in Sydney.
Kluytenberg received a late call-up into the under-12 Queensland Country side after performing strongly for Wide Bay at the state regional championships in Brisbane earlier this year.
“I’m so excited, I can’t wait. It should be fun,” he said.
“But it’ll also be nerve-racking.”
He was nervous because he knows who he’s playing against.
“They’re much older kids,” he said.
“I’m not only one of the youngest, but also the smallest.
“Some of them are huge.”
Having taken up the sport just a year ago, Kluytenberg attributed his meteoric rise to the national stage to his other sporting passions soccer and rhee tae kwon do.
The Maryborough West State School student has been playing the round ball game since he was five and last year became one of the youngest on the Fraser Coast to gain a junior black belt.
With an energetic attitude, it’s no wonder Kluytenberg wants to excel at more than one sport.
His mother Tina said there was no chance he would slow down.
“He’s a little mad dog. He doesn’t stop even when he’s taken off the court or the field – he’s desperate to get back on,” she said.
“His confidence since he came back from the (state regional) championship is 10 times better and playing at that high level has helped his development.
“He puts the effort in on the field and now he’s getting the rewards.”
Best thing about futsal/football: The speed of the games
Worst thing: Being subbed
Favourite meal: Potato bake
Favourite player: Harry Kewell
Favourite teams: Brisbane Roar and Manchester United
Favourite stadium: Suncorp Stadium
Ultimate dream: Play for a professional team