Four of the Illawarra’s finest young futsal players will get the chance of a lifetime when they represent their country on a 18-day tour of Brazil.
Joshua Young (Illawarra Sports High), Jayden Johnson (Lake Illawarra High School), Matthew Cignarella (Illawarra Christian School – Tongarra) and Jack Vaughan (Oak Flats High School) are off to Brazil as members of an under-15s/16s side.
After playing for the NSW South Coast under-15s team at the club national futsal titles in January this year, the quartet were invited to make the trip.
The squad will play a list of friendly matches against some of the best teams in Brazil as well as visiting iconic football sights including the national team headquarters and World Cup stadiums.
“I am really excited and pumped to go to Brazil to represent Australia,” Cignarella said.
“I am excited to be able to do it with three of my best mates. It will be good.
“Every time we see each other, we are counting down the days to Brazil.”
Cignarella and his teammates may be forced to miss out on school for the duration of the tour but that won’t stop the young players from learning while they are in the South American nation.
“I just want to take in a lot of information from the professional coaches and just enjoy the experience with my dad,” Cignarella said.
“I am still looking at improving my futsal from the great coaching over there, improving and just enjoying it.
“Mum has told me to be like a sponge and take in all the stuff I can while I am over there, so I am planning to do that.”
Cignarella’s father, Angelo, will make the trip.
He said he was extremely proud of all four players.
“It is going to be an experience and a half for them,” he said.
“They have been together in outdoor together since [the] under-6s. I am sure they are going to have a great time.”