With the recently held national futsal titles in Sydney approaching, St Peter Claver College student Danyon Mollee had resigned himself to missing out.
Not because he didn’t make the cut, but because, having recently overcome a knee reconstruction, he’d made himself unavailable for the Queensland team.
But when SPCC teacher and futsal coach Greg Farrell got a late call to coach the Western Australia team, everything changed.
When a WA player pulled out at the last minute Farrell asked 16-year-old Danyon if he’d become an honorary West Aussie for the tournament.
“It was alright,” Danyon said of playing for a state other than Queensland.
“I didn’t mind.
“It was a good competition.”
The competition took a turn he didn’t expect when WA played Queensland, which featured his good friend and schoolmate Dylan Wenzel-Halls, the quarter finals.
The two have been playing alongside each other since they were eight or nine-years-old.
“I pretty much knew all of them,” Danyon said of the Queensland team he was up against.
“They were undefeated and had had some big wins.”
WA had lost twice on the way to finals but it did not deter them, taking the game to sudden death extra-time following a 3-3 draw.
Queensland had been 2-0 up, before WA stormed back to lead 3-2 with less than a minute remaining.
“We screwed up,” Booval resident Dylan said.
Queensland scored the crucial goal in extra time to advance, eventually winning the final 7-3 over Northern NSW.
“I had no regrets,” Danyon said.
“It would have been good to have played for Queensland but I didn’t mind playing for WA.”
Farrell was able to enjoy both players’ success during the tournament.
“It was a very proud moment,” he said of watching WA play Queensland.
“On court they were the two standout players.
“I cannot claim the credit for that, though I’d like to think I’ve had a little bit of a positive influence on them.”
Dylan and Danyon weren’t the school’s only state representatives either.
Nikkola Dawes played in the Queensland under-13 team that came fifth in their competition.
“I think I did pretty well,” the Springfield Lakes resident said.
“It was a bit disappointing to lose the semi against NSW.”