Wanderers young gun is packing her bags for Germany
SOCCER: The prodigious talent of Gladstone's Tegan van Vegchel has been recognised beyond Australian borders.
She has accepted a 12-month contract to play for German club FC Schmelz next year.
Now based on the Sunshine Coast - where she plays for the Sunshine Coast Wanderers in the under-18 competition, as well as in occasional games in the senior competition - van Vegchel has earned her upcoming German adventure after making an impression late last year.
"In October I participated in The Fraser Coast Joey's Mini World Cup held at Hervey Bay where they selected 15 females and 22-24 male footballers to tour around Germany for three weeks," she said.
"From those players, one female and one male were selected as Player of the Tournament and they received their trip to Germany, all expenses paid."
She was fortunate to be one of the two who travelled to Germany for the 24-day trip.
Van Vegchel's strong Sunny Coast form continued overseas, catching the attention of professional coaches in Germany.
"Throughout this time we played in a few tournaments and games and came away with some good results," van Vegchel said.
"While I was over there I was lucky enough to be approached by Stefan Ruschel of FC Schmelz and Heinrich Haussler, who organised the whole tour, and he offered a position within their women's fourth league for 12 months with the hopes of progressing to higher levels as the year progresses."
Van Vegchel played in two tournaments, with her teams winning one and finishing runner-up in the other.
"Most of our tour was training with high-level German coaches including Petra, who is the current coach of the German U17 female national team as well as our own coaches that travelled with the teams," she said.
"We trained in temperatures that were hotter than I'm used to hitting 40 degrees on some days."
Van Vegchel said she could possible be in Germany as early as January and she she believed she had an advantage in getting offered the contract.
"I think my knowledge and understanding of football was a big factor and the fact that I was able to showcase that on the field during the games and training sessions," she said.
Her form has been strong for Wanderers, but she is always looking to get better.
"My performance so far this year has been very good and I am quite pleased with where my level of football is at however there is always room for improvement and consistency," van Vegchel said.
"I am hoping that a season in Germany will provide me with added knowledge and further development to my current style of play."