Jaleel kicking goals for himself and his people

Speaking ahead of the Terry West West Carnival on Sunday, Jaleel recalls when he was awarded player of the carnival as a 10-year-old in 2010.

"It was pretty good and I had set out to win the award," Central Soccer Club goal-keeper Jaleel said.

Fast-track six years and Sunday's event is a fundraiser for the teenager, who is seeking selection in Australia's first national indigenous team.

He will travel to Nowra in New South Wales for selection trials at the Inaugural National Indigenous Football Championships from November 3 to 5.

Jaleel takes pride in representing his people - from the Darumbal tribe - and said soccer was a major part of his life because of his parents, Ronald and Kym Donald.

The Terry West under 11 soccer carnival will raise funds for Jaleel Donald, 16, who has ambitions to make the first-ever national indigenous soccer team.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer
The Terry West under 11 soccer carnival will raise funds for Jaleel Donald, 16, who has ambitions to make the first-ever national indigenous soccer team.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer Mike Richards GLA250816SOCC

 

"I thought I may as well take on the legacy of them," he said.

If he performs well at Nowra there is the opportunity for something special for him and his people.

"It would be great to play for my country and represent my culture," Jaleel said.

"Soccer is a sport indigenous people play and I'd like it to be as big as it can be.

"I want to tell the kids that this is what can happen if you keep working hard."

The Terry West Carnival started in 2000 and raises funds towards players who have shown commitment, dedication and talent in their chosen sport.

The event starts on the soccer fields off Palm Dr from 8.30am, with presentations from about 3pm.



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