SOCCER: Rockhampton soccer star Jesse Rigby will play the biggest tournament of his young career in coming weeks, as he heads to Japan for the Sanix Cup International Youth Football Tournament.
Having moved to Brisbane in 2011, 15-year-old central midfielder Rigby is on the fast track to soccer success with a Queensland Academy of Sport scholarship and a spot in the Under-19 Australian Premier League QAS squad.
Formerly playing for the Frenchville Football Club in Rockhampton, Rigby said soccer has been a huge part of his life ever since he was little and hopes to continue playing well into the future.
"I started playing when I was little and played for Frenchville before moving into the Central Queensland team," Rigby said.
"I'm now living in Brisbane and playing with the QAS but have been in Rocky for the past few days visiting."
Rigby said his rise to success came after he started making consecutive Queensland teams and was approached by the QAS soccer coach to trial for the Academy.
"The head coach of the QAS happened to be the Queensland coach and I was given a trial at the QAS a couple of years ago," Rigby said.
"At that stage they said I'd have to wait because they didn't think I was ready yet, but he said Rocky at that time wouldn't be able to offer me as much as Brisbane for my soccer so I moved down there and started playing for Brisbane City."
But Rigby only needed to play one game for Brisbane City before the QAS decided his talent was too great to pass up, calling him back for a second trial which then secured him a spot in the Academy.
Now with the soccer world at his feet and living the dream of many Australian soccer players, Rigby is set to travel with the QAS to contest the Sanix International in Japan and he couldn't be happier.
"They've just decided to put the QAS team into the competition, the new state director Gary Phillips has come in and organised it," Rigby said.
"I think there's something like four Japanese soccer teams, and teams from Italy and all over the world competing in the tournament. "It's my first time overseas and playing internationally so I'm pretty excited."
Heading back to Brisbane today, Rigby will be back into full training next week in preparation for the tournament which will be held from March 18-27 at the Global Arena Complex in Munakata City, Fukuoka, Japan.