Sporting trips to England have become something of a family tradition for futsal star Bella Meiklejohn.
The Fairholme College student will travel to the UK in October for a 17-day tour with the Australian under-14 team.
They’ll travel around the country to play games against the likes of England, America, Brazil and Spain as well as watch some of the world’s top players in action.
Bella’s trip follows in the footsteps of her brothers Ben (cricket) and Matthew (soccer) who both went on tours in their chosen sports with Toowoomba Grammar School.
She’ll be joined by Fairholme team mate Bridget Madigan and Bella said she was excited for the chance to play against international opposition.
“It’ll be very hard because most of the countries who are there, futsal is their main thing. They do futsal 24/7 but I only play here only a few times a month,” Bella said.
“It’s like two times as fast as outdoor and the goal is only half the size too.”
Bella is a goalkeeper and she said there was always a lot of pressure trying to follow the fast-paced action of futsal.
Bella also helps to direct her team mates to chances they may not see from the field.
She expected to learn a lot about that part of her game in England.
“It’s fun because you get to watch all the other team members and help them score goals,” Bella said.
“They can only see in front but I can see the whole game. I can tell them where to go, who to mark, or to come back to do a corner.
“I’ll learn from all the other goalkeepers I see and watch.
“Hopefully I’ll become good friends with one of them so then we can stay in touch and I can learn stuff from them.”
The Aussie team won’t have any chances to play together before they arrive in England so they’ll have to work on combinations as they play.
Bella admitted it would be tough first up but said that was just part of the experience.
“The first game always is because you’ve never actually played a proper game with your team,” she said.
“You normally get smashed, but from then on, you know actually know what the other players can do, where they play, and how to work together.”