Two AWFA representative players have been rewarded for their consistency with selection in the NSW Country under-14 girls squad for next month's FFA National Youth Championships at Coffs Harbour.
Keely Halloway and Ashleigh Carty, both 12, are the only two players under the age of 13 to be included in the squad of 16 to take on Australia's best young talent from July 15 to 19.
The pair have been in AWFA representative teams since 2016 and stayed on the pathway, which has led them to an opportunity on the national stage.
Both Halloway and Carty played for Riverina's under-12s last year and were identified for further representative honours.
Their performance at the Football NSW state titles led to an invitation to trial for NSW Country.
Since then, the girls have attended camps and a game day against Canberra's Capital Football at Goulburn, where the final squad of 16 and four train-on players was selected.
Halloway, primarily a central defender, is looking forward to the biggest challenge of her young career.
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"I'd like to learn new things and play with people who are above the level and learn from them," Halloway said.
Her home club is Albury Hotspurs in the AWFA competition.
Carty will showcase her skill at the other end of the pitch.
"I enjoy playing right wing to run into space and also as a striker," Carty said.
"My strength is my speed with my athletics background as a sprinter."
Carty has taken the step up to NPL level with Wagga City Wanderers this season, but continues to feature in the AWFA under-14 girls representative team alongside Halloway.
Being one of the youngest in the team doesn't faze her.
"I'm looking forward to playing against the older girls," Carty added.
"I'm very excited for the experience to play against the best players across Australia."
AWFA has had a strong presence at the tournament with former Albury United trio Lisa Cary, Zarlie Goldsworthy and Piper Lockley representing NSW Country at both under-14 and under-15 level.
Goldsworthy and Lockley are both playing in the under-15s again this year.
The girls go into a talented athlete camp in Sydney this weekend, before returning next month to commence final preparations for the tournament.
Both Carty and Halloway head into team camp in Sydney on Friday, July 12, before travelling to Coffs Harbour.
Other teams at the tournament include Emerging Jets, NSW Metro (Blue and White), Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Capital Football, Football West, Northern Territory and Tasmania.
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