Ballarat futsal players joined the country’s best in Sydney for the Australian Futsal Association national championships.
Josh De Voogel was listed as an Australian all star after his consistent strong performance in the under-13 Victorian team.
Although playing on the back line, De Voogel was still able to score throughout the matches.
The under-13 team, with four players from the Ballarat region, made it to the semi-finals where they were knocked out by a New South Wales team 4-2.
Ballarat Futsal Centre manager and director of coaching Corey Smith, under-13 coach, said the team played exceptionally well and it was unexpected they would have such a good result considering they were such a new team.
“They’ve only been together a few months – there has just been a massive improvement within the team,” Smith said.
“They’ve developed faster than other team I’ve seen, in Australia and overseas. It’s phenomenal.”
Smith was part of the victorious Victorian open men team that defeated New South Wales 2-1 in the final.
Unfortunately, Smith was injured during the first round with a twisted knee and was unable to see out the tournament as a player, but coached the younger teams from the sidelines.
Country Victoria youth team, made entirely of people from Ballarat, were knocked out during the quarter finals.
Smith said Jackson McIver, Thomas Wylie-O’Brien and Bolish Salvatore played exceptionally.
Ballarat’s Catey and Sarah Wiley-O’Brien competed in the Victorian open women team, making it to the quarter finals.
“It was a great stepping stone – Victoria has improved so much – it’s fielding stronger teams than ever before,” Smith said.