Kicking goals on national stage
WESTLAWN Tigers star striker Myles Hartmann, 13, and Maclean Bobcats winger Charlie Kelly, 13, have been tearing up the fields of the National Premier League for North Coast Football's Under 13s side this season.
Kelly finished the year as the second highest goalscorer as the North Coast side lifted the trophy at the end of the season.
But now both players are ready to make another giant leap in their football career after being selected by the Northern NSW Country side.
For Hartmann, who has been in the North Coast representative side for the past two years, selection was the realisation of a dream.
"I have had to push a lot this year, every training session you have to treat it like it's a game, you can't mess around at all,” he said.
"At the start of the year we went to a training camp which spoke about these championships,” he said.
"This really is achieving a goal that I have had for a while.
"Compared to local club football this is a big step ahead, but I am so keen for this competition. I haven't got any nerves at the moment but I am sure that will change.”
The two boys have only had one training session with their NNSW side so far but will leave for a three-day camp this Friday before the championships kick off on Monday next week.
For Kelly, it is just about maintaining his focus ahead of the tournament.
"I just want to focus on doing my job for the team,” he said. "I loved playing in the NPL this season, but now have got to the big stage where we have to focus a lot more.
"We are going to try our hardest and hopefully come away with a few wins but the coaches aren't putting any expectations on us which is good.”
Both players are now fundraising for the titles with people able to buy raffle tickets in support.