Looking sharp for a crack in the NPL competition
SOCCER: Clinton Football Club prodigy Chantelle Sharp, 14, is off to the big smoke.
The talented teen will play for Toowoomba-based club South West Queensland Thunder in the under-16 National Premier League.
The Chantel College student’s selection was based on some impressive performances in 2019.
“Last year I was asked to try out but was too young to go to boarding school,” she said.
“My brother Jesse has played for the same club but will take this year off because of Year 12 studies.”
Chantelle will take up a sports scholarship at The Glennie School in Toowoomba and will have the opportunity to play in the prestigious school-based Bill Turner Cup competition.
Chantelle, who was the 2019 Clinton FC under-16 Golden Boot winner as well as the club’s junior best and fairest, played for two teams last year.
She played in the Clinton Cowgirls’ under-16 grand final-winning team against Meteors Mystiques last season.
She kicked 14 goals in 14 games for the Cowgirls and was the leading goal-scorer for that age group.
She also played 10 games at division-one level and kicked two goals against Gladstone United and Central last year in the Football Central Queensland competition.
“I played in the under-16 competition on Friday nights and also for the division-one women team on Saturdays or Sundays,” she said.
Chantelle said she had been taught well from her coaches in the senior and junior teams.
“They taught me how to get the first touch and how to get into position to get the ball as well,” she said.
“Both coaches were very supportive of me and hard on me in different areas.
“They both pushed me to be the best I can be and Skye Alexander also helped me out a lot.”
Sharp was notified via email by SWQ Thunder women’s technical director Kris Hemmerling.
The youngster will follow in the footsteps of fellow Gladstone player Keely Hooper (Central FC), who has joined the under-18 Eastern Suburbs Football Club’s NPL team.
“I know Keely well and we played against each other when she played for Central and I played with Clinton,” Chantelle said.
“I’m pretty happy and it will be a good opportunity for me.”
She said her main assets in the game were speed and ability to hit up targets with her passing.
Her under-16 Clinton coach Paul Lester said she has all the attributes.
“She’s got plenty of natural football talent,” he said.
“Her fitness will serve her well as she’s a very busy player and covers a lot of ground throughout the game.
“She’s fearless in both attack and defence. She also has a great attitude towards training and easy to coach which will be very beneficial with the higher level coaching.”
As for making the big trip down south, Chantelle said she felt a mix of emotions.
“It will be a combination of excitement and nerves,” she said.