Ready to step up

TWO girls who have dedicated their lives to soccer will venture to Coffs Harbour this weekend to compete at the National Youth Soccer Championships.

Emily Lugton and Nicole Faltum will represent Victoria Country at the five-day championships in the under 13 division.

“We’re very excited; we haven’t been to Coffs Harbour before,” the girls said.

This will be their second venture to the championships and both are keen to make an impression at the event, which takes place from 8 to 12 July.

Twelve year-old Emily, a defensive midfielder for Churchill’s under 13 and women’s teams in the Gippsland Soccer League, said she looked forward to competing at the championships.

“It’s pretty cool. All my life is dedicated to soccer. My friends are always asking me to hangout, but I want to play soccer,” Emily said.

“The level of plays is faster, quicker, more advanced. I don’t know how we will go.”

Nicole, a 13 year-old goal keeper for Moe, and Victoria Country captain, said this year’s championships offered something different.

“We were the young ones last year and the players were so much bigger than us,” Nicole said.

“This year we are the bigger ones and we have stepped out of our shell a bit more; we feel more comfortable.

“The younger ones now look up to us, and we are fine with that.”

The girls said the level of competition at the championships was fierce and their opposition much smarter on the ball.

However, they said this only spurred them on to play harder and encouraged all girls willing to give soccer a try to play at their best.

“It doesn’t matter how good you are, just play at your level and don’t worry about stepping up to anyone else’s,” the girls said.

“Just keep trying and don’t give up.”