Heading off to the nationals in Sydney ... Bailey Raines, Reuben Vandenberg-Dodt, coach Debbie Ovens, Luke Vandenberg and Sam Gray

December 20, 2012

Has there ever been an occasion when one team provided all the players for a Qld Country rep squad?  Futsal coach Debbie Ovens can’t remember it happening before … but that’s exactly what a group of Kingaroy boys will be doing at the Junior National Championships.

The boys, who compete as Rustix in the local futsal competition, will be playing under the “Queensland Country” banner in Sydney from January 7.

They will be competing in the 16 Boys competition.

“It’s a very unusual occurrence but we have just so many quality players in this age group,” Debbie said.

“Usually the Qld Country team is mixed with players from all over the Wide Bay area. But this time we have a whole squad of talent here.”

The boys selected are Sam Gray, Shane Hall, Ryan Mooney, Bailey Raines, Zac Strauss, Luke Vandenberg and Reuben Vandenberg-Dodt.

Amongst their ranks are two international players, Reuben captained the Australian U16s Vikings team in California last year, while Ryan has played for Australia in an English tournament.

Futsal is a form of indoor soccer played with a smaller and heavier ball and five players on the court.

Most of the players selected also play senior football for Kingaroy teams, either Wests or Gunners, except Bailey who plays in the South-West Queensland competition.

Debbie says their biggest competition in Sydney will come from the NSW City and Qld City teams which are probably two of the best futsal teams in Australia.

The competition runs over three days with finals played on the fourth.

“If we can keep them injury-free for the whole competition we will get through to the finals,” she said.