The World Cup only comes around once every four years, so for Port Macquarie trio Britt Hargreaves, Shannon Day and Sophie Jones, being selected in the Australian Womens Futsal team is a dream come true.
The trio, aged 23, 22 and 23 respectively, will compete at the 2017 Womens Futsal World Cup in Spain in May.
They play for Far Northern NSW Futsal team. They also are a part of the Mid North Coast Football squad.
Australian Futsal Association’s NSW Development Manager Michael Day said he was very happy for three girls who have worked hard to gain selection.
“It’s a massive achievement. It’s a tournament that only comes up once every four years, so to have three girls from Port Macquarie in the team is big,” he said.
“There are girls from Western Australia, Queensland and Sydney, so it’s a massive effort to get in. This is the first time a Port Macquarie futsal player has made it to the World Cup.
“It really is huge because it’s the pinnacle, you can’t go any higher than a World Cup.”
They have been playing futsal together for ten years and last year they all played in China, with Brit and Shannon also playing in America for the Australian team.
Their bond will surely aid the Australian team when they tackle the world’s best in Spain.
“When I found out it was awesome, especially to be able to do it with the two girls I have been playing with since we were 14, it’s an amazing feeling,” Day said.
“I feel the competition will be really hard, but I’m hoping we can have a good tournament.
“We have a good connection when we’re playing, we know each others games and can read where each other will be.”
Jones said they are expecting some hard competition.
“These girls played against USA, but for me I didn’t get to go to America so I’m keen to get to Spain,” she said.
“I’m really looking forward to going and testing myself against the world’s best players.”
“I was pretty excited because it’s been a goal of mine to make the World Cup squad for a while now, so I was stoked,” Hargreaves added.
“Our main goal was to win Nationals with the Australian at the start of the year, but as an individual goal this has been one of mine for a while.
“It will be a really high level in Spain, and we want to go over and win obviously, but just to play these high quality teams will be a big thing for us.”
Futsal in Port Macquarie has experienced a rapid rise, and later this month teams from all over NSW and Queensland will converge on the town for the 2017 ASN Port Futsal Cup (March 25 and 26).
It will feature mens and womens competition, using international size courts and FIFA rules.
By Matthew Attard