For the second year in a row Moorland’s Xanthe Parsons has been named in an Australian futsal under 12 girl’s team to tour overseas.
And for the second year Xanthe won’t be going.
In 2016 Xanthe was chosen in the national squad to tour Malaysia, but family budgetary constraints meant she didn’t take her place.
In January Xanthe was selected in the 12s side to head to Barcelona. Initially Xanthe was looking forward to making the trip.
However, confirmation that she has been chosen in the Newcastle-based Emerging Jets under 13s side to play in this season’s National Premier League (NPL) has changed everything. Xanthe will again forgo the overseas trip while she concentrates on her exhaustive campaign with the Jets.
Xanthe was outstanding for the Manning-dominated Far North Coast-Manning under 12 side at the national futsal championships held in sweltering conditions at Penrith. A goal keeper, Xanthe was one of five players named in the All Stars team at the conclusion of the event. FNC-Manning, the defending champions, were runners up to Victoria Country at the titles.
“We beat them in pool game but they were too good for us in the final,’’ Xanthe said.
She was initially excited when informed of her selection in the Australian team. However, she had no hesitation in withdrawing when she arrived home from holidays to find an e-mail from the Jets informing she’d been successful in gaining a place in the squad for this year’s NPL. Xanthe was targeted by the Jets when playing for the Football Mid North Coast under 12s last year.
The NPL gets underway on Sunday February 19 with the Pre-Season Cup clash against Manly United at Lake Macquarie – a home game for Xanthe. It’ll be a big commitment from the 12-year-old and her parents. Xanthe train two or three nights at week in Newcastle and twice in Taree before heading to games on Sundays.
“The travel doesn’t really bother me,’’ Xanthe said, although her dad noted that she’ll probably be able to sleep through most of the journey.
Xanthe started playing soccer when she was six with the Moorland under eights and has been in goals for most of that time.
She was nine when she was named in a Football Mid North Coast squad.
Xanthe’s looking forward to the year ahead with the Jets. She hopes it’ll be the start of the journey that will lead to her fulfilling her ultimate footballing goal.
“My dream is to play with the Matildas,’’ she smiled.
By Mick McDonald