There is no championship trophy at stake but Queensland are poised for a huge day today in the final rounds of the girls’ National Training Centre Challenge in Canberra.
Bragging rights for the best young talent in the land go on the line when Queensland play Capital Football (ACT) at 10.20am, then New South Wales at 4.10pm.
After three rounds the Queensland squad, filled with Brisbane Roar Football Club players from the NPLW Queensland competition, are unbeaten.
They have had wins against Tasmania (9-2), South Australia (2-0) and Football West (3-1).
Two wins today could result in a significant representation in U17 and U20 national squads although coach David da Silva is wary of last-round opponents NSW.
“It’d be a massive achievement if we can go through unbeaten because New South Wales have a dozen national squad players in the team,” he said.
“Still, we’re hopeful.”
The NTC Challenge is all about identifying stars of the future under a program (in the Sunshine State) funded by Brisbane Roar, Football Queensland and the Queensland Academy of Sport.
“There is no final but if we can win both games on Thursday we’ll go through unbeaten,” da Silva said.
Because it is all about identifying talent da Silva preferred not to nominate individuals away from North Queenslander Indiah Kubin, one of regional players in the Roar squad. She has scored five goals in her three NTC matches.
“No, they’ve all been very good,” da Silva said when asked if there were any more standouts.
It is all about giving every player (18 in all) minimum field time of 150 minutes during the carnival to enhance claims for future Australian representation, he said.