Off to the Junior National championships, Gladstone players Riley Marr, 14, Tegan van Vegchel, 13, Keely Hooper, 12 and Jessica Buenen, 14.Photo Paul Braven / The Observer
Off to the Junior National championships, Gladstone players Riley Marr, 14, Tegan van Vegchel, 13, Keely Hooper, 12 and Jessica Buenen, 14.Photo Paul Braven / The Observer Paul Braven

Juniors to kick goals for QLD

IN FURTHER proof that soccer in the Gladstone region is thriving; four local youngsters are off to a training camp in two weeks in Brisbane.

Tegan Van Vegchel, Jessica Buenen, Riley Marr and Keely Hooper will be put through their paces from March 29 to April 1 in an effort to get selected to play for Queensland's under 15 and under 13 teams in Coffs Harbour from July 3 to 8.

The girls have been selected through the CQ Mariners Girls Academy.

"I have been focusing on my fitness and refining my skills," Jessica said of her preparations for the under 15 representative side.

Part of the process is to help her develop a skill set that stands up to playing under duress.

"It's just to make sure that my technique is correct and doing it under pressure," Jessica explained.

Coaches Jean Van Vegchel and Kale Powell have been big influences for Jessica's development.

The coach, who has only been at the helm for six months, said he has monitored the four girls' progress since November.

VIDEO: WATCH THE GIRLS WARM UP!

"I have seen them go from standard to pretty adept to what they are doing," Powell said.

"They have all started at different levels and now they are pretty much on the same level."

He said that the youngsters' progress in the 'world game' excites him

"It gives us plenty of satisfaction," Powell said.

Meanwhile the CQ Mariners are gearing up for a fun-filled week of clinics that commences on Tuesday April 5 until Saturday, April 9.

The clinic follows the Football Federation of Australia national curriculum with sessions focusing on advanced skills, core skills and foundation skills.

CQ Mariners' co-media liaison officer Shyrelle Anderson said the clinics help fast-track youngsters' development such as the aforementioned four girls.

"The four core skills are derived from FFA and if the CQ youth are exposed to these core skills, then it provides a platform for kids to develop," Anderson said.

"Exposing these kids just aligns them with what is required."



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