Four of Wagga’s brightest footballing talents will have an opportunity to showcase their skills on the national stage after being selected in their representative state teams.
But there’s a twist to the tale – not everyone is playing for NSW.
Wagga City Wanderers trio Hugh Jenkins, Daniel Castle and Ethan Watt were named in the NSW Country squads off the back of impressive seasons in the black and white strip and will don the sky blue at the FFA National Youth Championships for Boys in Coffs Harbour later this month.
Jenkins will compete in the under 13s competition while Castle and Watt are set to play for the under 14s side.
Football Wagga development officer Liam Dedini offered his congratulations to the Wanderers trio and wished them good luck ahead of their journey.
Interestingly, the fourth Wagga-based player, Harrison Watson, will represent Victoria Country after making the move down to National Premier League division two club Murray United this year.
The 13-year-old has been a standout since moving south and earned selection in the Victorian side along with nine of his team mates.
Mark Watson, Harrison’s father, said the shift down to Albury-Wodonga was a targeted one that offered more to aspiring players.
“Wagga has a great grassroots program but we wanted to try and find some more opportunities for Harrison to develop,” Watson said.
“We’re hoping he’ll get the chance to trial at Melbourne Victory and it’s just a stronger competition in Victoria with a base in the NPL.”
Watson has another son, 15-year-old Fletcher, and travels down to Albury three times a week with both boys for training and games.
It’s a dedication Murray United technical director Adam Carter sees reflected in Harrison’s own development.
“He’s quite a versatile young player. I think he’s also starting to be pushed at training and that’s pushing his own abilities higher and higher,” Carter said.
“(Fletcher) plays up in the under 15s as a keeper and started against a Melbourne City academy side the other week.”
Carter said there were clear benefits to playing in the Victorian competition.
“It’s a bit weird having him come down from NSW but because he’s registered with us at Murray United, he’s getting the chance to play at a higher level.”
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