Maryborough’s Claudia Wharton has been selected to play for Queensland in the under-13 girls soccer team.
Maryborough’s Claudia Wharton has been selected to play for Queensland in the under-13 girls soccer team. Jocelyn Watts

Wharton selected for state side

BEING the only girl in a soccer team has never put Maryborough’s Claudia Wharton, 12, off playing the game she loves.

Her mum, Penny, remembers her taking up the game when she was 4 or 5 when the family was living in Gayndah. She was the only girl on her side but playing with boys has just made her daughter tougher and ready for any challenge, Penny reckons.

The St Mary’s College student still plays for mixed teams but she will go up against some of the best young female soccer players in Australia when she competes for Queensland at the national titles in April.

Claudia, who plays for West in Maryborough, was selected for the state side while competing for the Wide Bay side. She competed is the State Schoolgirls Carnival and did her region proud.

The Wide Bay team won the carnival and Penny says Claudia was the only player from a regional area selected for the state side, with other players coming from metropolitan areas to complete the team.

That is a proud achievement for Claudia, who is looking forward to making her mark on the national stage.

One of the reasons Wharton loves playing the game so much is the team aspect of the sport, Penny says. While she also does cross-country, she gets a lot more nervous before big events when competing as an individual than she does when competing with the support of a team.

“I think it’s the camaraderie,” Penny said.

On of Claudia’s strengths is her endurance, mum Penny said, something that will be put to the test when she competes at the national titles – and then also has to back up for the Wide Bay under-14 side.

The side will play in an event in Cairns during the national titles and Claudia will also take part in at the conclusion of the titles.

Her determination is also a huge plus, Penny said.

“She decides something is going to happen and it does.”

Claudia’s enthusiasm for sport is shared by her brother, Declan, 16, who recently competed with the Wide Bay junior triathlon team that came second at the state titles.

Penny said she was proud of both her children and their achievements but both know it’s important to keep their feet on the ground and school is still their number one priority.

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