Year 8 Soccer Excellence student, Tijan McKenna has been selected for the Australian Girls Under 16s soccer team, the Junior Matildas.
Tijan was recognised as the ‘player of the tournament’ during an Under 14s Tournament between all states where she represented Western Australia and from there she was identified and accepted into the Junior Matilda trials at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
Only 23 girls across Australia are selected for the squad and Tijan said she was really pleased to be chosen because this gives her a head start in pursuing soccer professionally.
She said the training at the trials worked on specific technical skills and also focused on individual motivation.
“The training was pretty normal, just more intense and they make you work for yourself,” she said.
“In the morning you have to wake yourself up and prepare yourself and you have to be organised and independent.”
She said being a part of the Soccer Excellence Program at John Curtin had increased her knowledge of the game and improved her skills.
“The extra training sessions and indoor classes we have gives me a better understanding of the game and lots of extra practice.”
Australia will compete in Group D of the 2019 AFC U16 Women’s Championship Qualifiers, and will come up against Palestine, Indonesia, hosts Kyrgyz Republic, and Chinese Taipei during their time in Bishkek.
Finishing first in Group D would guarantee the Westfield Junior Matildas a place at next year’s AFC U16 Women’s Championship, which will be held in Thailand.
Their first match is against Palestine on September 17.