Young Mandurah soccer star Sam Byrne will lace up his cleats for Western Australia when he takes to the field for the Football Federation Australia National Youth Championships in Coffs Harbour, NSW this September.
Representing Football West – and his local Mandurah City FC – the 13-year-old will don a WA uniform as he helps take on opposing states at the tournament.
It will be the second time the young star has represented Western Australia, with his selection coming on the back of a rigorous trial process that saw him make the team.
The centre-mid said he was looking forward to the challenge of playing in the national tournament, and relished the lessons playing for WA taught him.
“It’s a higher quality of football and you learn so much playing for the state team, so I’m excited for that,” he said.
“It’s always amazing and I feel like I have to step it up to match it with the other players, so it makes me a better player.
“It’s going to be a good experience.”
Sam, who has played soccer his entire life, has been trialing with the state squad in Perth since July while still juggling his Mandurah City training sessions.
He’s also been part of development squads helping to improve his skills, but the youngster said he’s loving the workload.
“I love going to all the training sessions and making myself a better player, so it’s pretty easy to take on,” he said.
“When I found out I was in the team I was just stoked – I couldn’t stop smiling.”
Sam will fly out bound for the tournament in Coffs Harbour on Saturday, September 22, where he will spend a week helping WA take on opposing states.
He’s hoping to return home with a medal for his efforts.
“If we can finish in the top three that would be awesome,” he said.
“But really I’m just excited to get over there and play.”
For more information on the tournament, visit northernnswfootball.com.au