Stanthorpe futsal star to play for Australia
Futsal: Every sports player dreams of one day playing for their country and, for Stanthorpe girl Ellice Orreal, that dream is coming true.
Orreal has been selected to play on the Australia under-19 futsal team in California next year.
"I thought Dad pulled a prank on me,” she said.
"I just thought that can't be true.”
She was selected while playing on the Queensland West team at a school nationals game.
"I didn't even know there was scouts there, I was just playing my game.”
She's been playing outdoor soccer since she was seven and started futsal in Year 8 however, with no permanent local season, she spends most of her time on the outdoor field.
"I found out about futsal and loved it. It's really fast paced, which I like.”
The Year 12 student hopes to go to university on the Gold Coast to study nursing next year but, for now, preparing for the big game is at the top of her mind.
"I travel to Toowoomba every week to train then I do my own training at home.
"I was so lucky to have a team that actually supported me to help me get there.
"The coaches worked one- on-one with me all the time, they were so encouraging and supportive, nothing like I'd ever seen.”
Even coming from a small town with no permanent futsal season, Orreal never felt like she missed out.
"It's what you make of it.
"I could have used it as an excuse not to give it a go but, if you love doing something, you find a way to do it.
"You make it happen for yourself, you make your own opportunities.”
She expressed thanks to her mum and dad for supporting her and driving her to training each week.