For the first time, Pacific Palms Public School will have representation at the upcoming NSW PSSA Football State Championships, thanks to year five’s Marissa Masterantonio and year six’s Aiden Workum.
After a successful trial to make the PSSA Manning Zone girls and boys football teams, Marissa and Aiden attended trials held in Newcastle and competed against 210 primary students from the Hunter region to claim their spots.
Marissa is a Pacific Palms Football Club is a star striker. She was thrilled to be rewarded one of just 14 spots on the Hunter Region Girls Football team, claiming her spot over 120 other hopefuls.
Aiden, who plays left full back for the Newcastle Jets in the under 13 National Premier League, was delighted to make the initial cut of 25 players from more than 130 boys. He earned his spot in the final squad of 14 players after a second trial.
Both students have played football for as long as they can remember and hope to play the game professionally one day, with the ultimate dream of playing for Australia.
As huge and distant as this dream may be, they are fully aware of the time, effort and sacrifice that would be required to play the game at the highest level and at a young age are already committed to their skill development on the training ground.
Aiden is in his third consecutive year with the Newcastle Jets Academy and travels to Newcastle four times a week for training and NPL matches.
Marissa currently trains 3-4 times a week with MDFC Football School, the under 12 Football Mid North Coast girls development squad in Forster, and with her local community club. Marissa recently received an invitation to represent the Australian Futsal Association at the Jiangmen International Cup in China.
Both students share the determination to persevere with the demands of practice, to give them the best chance of achieving their dreams and are grateful the hard work is paying off by their respective selections.
Pacific Palms Public School have previously enjoyed state level representation in rugby league, touch football, cross country running and athletics and are proud and excited to now include football to that list.
The NSW PSSA Football State Championships will be held over three days, with the boys event in Sydney next month and the girls event in Kiama in June.