'My goal is to represent Australia': Young soccer stars prepare for national championships – Shepparton News

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Two rising Shepparton soccer stars are off to Coffs Harbour this month, with Fiorina Laria and Lucas Cirillo set to represent Victoria at the National Youth Championships.
Pulling on the navy blue of their home state, the duo will join teams from across Australia, with the nation’s best young talent set to feature.
Also in attendance will be national team and technical staff from Football Australia, with the tournament providing a pathway to further opportunities and a chance for talent identification.
Being held for the first time in two years, Laria will head to NSW first, with the under-16 girls tournament kicking off on September 19.
A lethal left winger, the 15-year-old currently plies her trade for Calder United in the NPL Victoria Under-19 Girls competition and said it was good to make the state team.
“I’m pretty excited considering that it got cancelled two times because of COVID-19,” Laria said.
“It’s good, especially to be around people that are advanced as well to push me.”
Leading goal-scorer in the league, Laria has kicked 22 goals in 21 games this season, helping her side to a first-placed finish and locking in a finals push.
Travelling to Melbourne three times a week to be a part of the Calder side, Laria has lofty ambitions.
“My goal is to hopefully make it to the Matildas one day,” she said.
“Or even to go overseas and play, somewhere in Europe or something.”
Pencilled in to start a week after the girls tournament, Goulburn Valley Suns’ Cirillo will compete in the under-15 boys tournament from September 26.
Playing in a regional Victorian team, Cirillo, 14, said he was “pretty happy” to be making the trip.
“It’s a great opportunity to have,” Cirillo said.
“I’m very excited to show them what I’ve got.”
The midfielder currently plays in the Suns’ under-14 Junior Boys National Premier League Three South-East team, with the talent participating in the Victorian championships earlier this year.
“The last one was just Victorian and this one is Australia-wide,” he said.
“It’s still the country Victorian team, but obviously we’re playing more people from all over Australia.”
Like Laria, Cirillo has lofty ambitions for his career, with a goal of representing Australia or playing in the English Premier League.
The young talents thanked their families for helping them in their career to date and, despite both currently carrying injuries, they expect to be ready to go for the tournament.
Daniel is a passionate sports fan and proud Tasmanian.
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