They’ve been playing together since they were little and now Josie Morley and Teagan Douglas are gearing up for the most important games of their lives.
The Maitland Grossmann High School year 9 students have been named in the Westfield Junior Matildas team and will play off against other international teams in central Asia over the next two weeks.
The team will compete in Group D of the 2019 AFC U16 Women’s Championship Qualifiers and take on Palestine, Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic, and Chinese Taipei.
It’s part of the path towards qualifying for the 2020 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup.
“It’s very overwhelming, it’s just really a great opportunity that I never thought I would have,” Teagan said.
“It’s always been a goal, so making this young Matildas side sets things in perspective and shows me I actually have a chance at achieving my goals. I’ve exceeded my expectations.”
“I’ve played other sports but soccer has really been my main one since I was about five. This was my goal at the start of the year so it’s great that I got to achieve it,” Josie added.
The pair caught the eye of selectors at the national championships in Coffs Harbour earlier this year when they were playing with the Newcastle Jets Academy. Their team mates Ruby Jones and Kirsty Fenton were also chosen.
They couldn’t believe it when they were asked to play at a trial night a few weeks later in Sydney, and were even more excited when they were picked to be part of three training camps.
They made their way to Bishkek, in Kyrgyzstan, on Monday with 21 team mates from across the country.
“We’ve selected a balanced team with plenty of skill and creativity and we’re really looking forward to our first game (against Palestine) on September 17,” Westfield Junior Matildas Head Coach Rae Dower said.
“Some of the players are still only 13-years-old so the potential that they have is enormous. The challenge for us all is to nurture, guide, and develop them all year around as the qualification period goes beyond the next 12 months. The depth and quality of players across this age group is increasing exponentially and it is a real privilege to be able to help them take this step.”
While you’re with us, did you know The Mercury is now offering breaking news alerts, bi-weekly email newsletters and more? Keep up-to-date with all the local news - sign up here.