Jenna?s sights are on US goal

By RACHAEL BORICH

WHEN it comes to playing soccer former Rockhampton schoolgirl Jenna Pickering can't get enough of the sport.

"I'm not one of those crazy people with soccer memorabilia all over my room and I hate just watching soccer, but I can't get enough of playing it,'' Pickering said.

The 18-year-old will have to love every minute of playing soccer after she left her family home, now in Glenden, on Tuesday to join the Olivet Nazarene University women's soccer program in Illinois, the USA.

"I've got mixed emotions.''

It's a big step for the talented attacking midfielder/striker who first pulled on the soccer boots as a four-year-old for the under-6 Teddy Bears in Biloela and has never had a break from the game since then.

Queensland under-14 team honours followed and it was while playing for the Queensland open women's team in a trial game last year that she was spotted by her new US coach.

Pickering played her last game for the CQU Berserker Bears at Elizabeth Park last Saturday with her team winning 2-1.

"The girls are making me feel guilty about leaving,'' Pickering smiles, with just one round remaining before finals However, the boots will soon be back when she debuts for her new team on September 2 ? the start of a 22-game run, which includes games every three days until the end of October.

"I've been warned by the girls over there that it's going to be hard.'' Her preparation has included a training program from her university coach which includes juggling the ball 100 times a day, sprint work and long runs.

Pickering's fitness will quickly be tested at a week-long camp starting on August 18 which includes training twice a day.

She is ready for hard work.

"I have to do as much as I can to prove myself.''

Pickering returns home in nine months.



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