Midfielder to face best Australia has to offer
HERVEY Bay's Jacob Advaney is having trouble containing his excitement.
After being selected to play for Queensland Country in the upcoming FFA National Youth Championships, the 13-year-old flyer can't wait to show why he is regarded as one of the most exciting players in this year's National Premier League Queensland competition.
Jacob and fellow Bay youngster and Wide Bay Revolution player, Matthew Mitchell, will participate in a training camp in Brisbane before heading to Coffs Harbour to take on the country's best up and coming footballers.
Jacob made the Queensland Country U12 merit team last year, but with a burning ambition to test himself at the highest level, the Fraser Coast Anglican College student said he was looking forward to making the next step of his football journey.
"I'm really excited because last year I made the team but it was only the camp. I just wanted to improve myself and I'm so excited to have the chance to go to Coffs," he said.
Four Revolution players were rewarded for their outstanding seasons in the NPL with Queensland Country selection, while Maryborough duo Aiden Ward and George Brown were left out after being picked in the U14 train-on squad.
Making the cut was harder than previous years with players from Toowoomba NPL club South West Thunder considered for Queensland Country selection for the first time.
Matthew, a strong midfielder and natural leader, was part of the Queensland Country side that finished equal first last year but was demoted to third on goal difference.
He said competing in the NPL, which was launched this year, has helped take his game to the next level.
"I've improved immensely because the standard is a lot higher and has forced me to step up my game," Matthew said.
"I've been working a lot on my
passing and trying to change the game with quick counter attacks and defending."
Advaney, who is known for his blistering pace and energy, agreed moving from a local competition to playing against the state's elite juniors in a home-and-away competition had done wonders to his development.
"It gave me a lot more motivation do all the little things right, train harder and do everything I can because I knew it would be tougher to make the state team this year," he said.
Revolution technical director Bill Mitchell, who was named Queensland Country U13 assistant coach, said having four players identified for higher representation was a terrific result for the club, and a testament to their coaching staff.
"It's a great achievement for any club to have a player identified to go to the camp," he said.
"It's all small steps forward but this is a big step not a small step and hopefully we can advance that over the years and have more kids getting the opportunity to represent the state."
He added Bundaberg's Nykodah Smith was selected for Queensland U15 school side along with Nicolas Chippendale and Aiden Ward, who were selected as shadow players.
Wide Bay Revolution players named in the Queensland Country team that will contest the FFA National Youth Championships, starting in Coffs Harbour on September 30.
U13: Jacob Advaney (Hervey Bay), Mannyx Smith (Bundaberg).
U14: Matthew Mitchell (Hervey Bay), Josh Haack (Bundaberg).