WAGGA soccer prodigy Jada Mathyssen-Whyman may be a goalkeeper, but she continues to kick goals in her chosen discipline.
The 13-year-old has enjoyed a whirlwind 12 months that has seen her transform from a junior player at Tolland to pulling on the boots for a Sydney premier league team and join Sydney FC’s senior training squad.
She was last year named in the Australian under 14 All Stars team and was awarded goalkeeper of the tournament at the National Youth Championships in July.
Three days ago, Mathyssen-Whyman received the letter she had been waiting for.
She has been selected in the under 17 Matildas squad to contest the Asian Football Confederation Under 16 Women’s Championships in China later this month.
At just 13, Mathyssen-Whyman will be one of the youngest members of the squad and one of three goalkeepers to make the trip overseas.
She says she was overjoyed when she heard the news.
“Mum got an email when I was at school and she sent me a text message telling me I’d been picked, and I just screamed,” Mathyssen-Whyman said.
“Everyone was looking at me like something was wrong with me.
“It’s an awesome feeling, I couldn’t believe it.”
Mathyssen-Whyman will head to Brisbane on September 19 for a three-day camp, which will include a trial game against the Brisbane Roar’s W-League team.
From there the squad will fly to China to compete in the championships.
Mathyssen-Whyman admits she is feeling anxious, but excited, about the trip.
“I’ve never even been on a plane before so it’s a bit scary,” she said. “It will be a great experience.”
If the Matildas finish in the top three of the championships they will qualify for next year’s FIFA Youth World Cup.
Her mother, Vanessa Whyman, will fly to China to watch Mathyssen-Whyman take on the best young female players from around the world.
The pair have been driving to Sydney most weekends throughout the season to allow Mathyssen-Whyman to pull on the boots for Sydney club Macarthur Rams, who play a semi final today.
Ms Whyman said the travel wouldn’t be possible without the help of some local help.
“Scott Brady at Best St Chiropractic, Garry at Athletes Foot, Terry Mescia – he donated guernsey for auction – and T3 Gloves, they have all been great,” she said.