Heat Pair On Pathway To Success
Two FNQ FC Academy players will take a massive leap towards realising their dream of representing their country after being selected for the Queensland Academy of Sport – the gateway for future Australian representative players.
14 year-olds Kye Bolton and Lachlan Goldfinch were selected into the 18 strong QAS squad after impressing at the final four day trials camp in Brisbane last week.
In the toughest test of their blossoming careers so far, the Heat pair trialled with over 35 players vying for just eight spots.
All aspects of their game were put under scrutiny in intense 'closed' sessions; the trialists were often pitted against established Academy players such as Mareeba-raised Australia U17 Captain, Nick Panetta and Jamie Dimitroff- both who went through the same process 12 months prior
"At times it was really tough," Bolton told FNQ FC Media.
"Sometimes we were up against older and bigger guys so it really tested our mental toughness, I guess, but we've been used to playing against bigger older guys all season in the Under 16 comp in FNQ
"I think our speed of play, ball skills and knowing how the QAS want to play football stood us out from the rest.
"There's no way we would have had this chance if it hadn't been for the Heat and the academy; so I really have to thank the club and all my coaches for this."
Left winger, Bolton earned his opportunity to trial after impressing with the Queensland Country side in the FFA Nationals in Coffs Harbour earlier this month and earning the Players Player award at the end of the tournament.
Left-footed defender Goldfinch was selected for the Queensland Country side but was not able to attend the tournament; but an endorsement from Heat Technical Director Chris Collins earned him a spot in the QAS trials.
"I am delighted for both young men, who have been mentored in our talented player pathway since they were 11 years old" Collins explained.
“I always tell all of our Heat academy players that they are constantly being watched and under scrutiny, and since both boys went to Nationals last year, their football training and game execution has been monitored along with their team mates regularly- just like it is in all professional clubs all over the world"
The selection means the teenagers must move from their Cairns family home and head to Brisbane in January, with potential to be selected for the NTC (FFA National Training Centre's) challenge at the AIS in Canberra, where the best of the best players from each State High Performance programmes are viewed for National selections.
Goldfinch is determined to continue his rise up the representative ranks and earn a green and gold jersey.
"This is really cool to get into the QAS but I really want to keep working harder than anyone else to one day play for Australia; just like Nick (Panetta) and Jamie (Dimitroff) has for the Joeys and Michael Thwaite has for the Socceroos," Goldfinch beamed.
The young pair have been playing together since they joined the FNQ talented player program and hopefully their close relationship will help them join the growing list of Australian representatives from the region – including famous far north luminaries Frank Farina, Shane Stefanutto, Steve Corica and Wayne Shroj.
Words and Image: FNQ FC Heat