Laynee Field and Freya Clifton both joined their school futsal teams because they love, and are very good at, football.
Little did they think one year on they would be preparing to fly to the United States next month with the under-19 women’s Australia Futsal Association schoolgirls team.
The pair are bound for California, where they will play against some of the best youth women’s club teams in the US.
It is what 17-year-old Field describes as a “once in a lifetime experience”.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing for Australia, so I’m super excited,” Field said.
“I didn’t think anything of futsal, I was just going up [to the national titles] for a muckaround. I’ve played soccer for 16 years, so it would’ve been more likely that I wanted to play [field] soccer for Australia.”
The Morisset High School year-12 student sustained a serious ankle injury during the national championships, held last November in Brisbane.
She thought that would spell the end to her hopes of earning selection in the national team.
“I played two games and then I ruptured all the ligaments in my ankle so I only got to play those two games and I didn’t think I was going to make it because everyone else played six or seven games,” Field said.
“I was actually in Bali when I got an email to say I’d got in.
“I pretty much just stared at my phone unable to blink.”
Sixteen-year-old Clifton was also surprised to find out she had made the Australia side.
“I just thought I’d have a kick around when I found out there was a school side,” the Cardiff High School student said.
“I’m just hoping now to get some good experience and learn a bit more about futsal.”
Both are emerging talents in Herald Women’s Premier League.
Field, a Morisset junior, is in her second year with South Wallsend.
She signed as an under-18 player last year and has worked her way into the first-grade squad.
Clifton is in her third year with Merewether and plays in United’s under-18 team.