Nerimbera women’s footballer Charlie Riley is off to the USA later this year.
Nerimbera women’s footballer Charlie Riley is off to the USA later this year. Allan Reinikka

Young star shooting for top

COULD Charlie Riley be Australian women’s next football superstar?

The 14-year-old suits up for Premier Football Club Australia at the San Diego Surf College Cup tournament in the US in November after she was selected in the inaugural under-17 PFC Australia team last month.

The Surf College Cup is one of the largest and most recognised college football tournaments in the world where players are exposed to over 200 college and university scouts with scholarship opportunities beyond high school.

The excited right-midfielder, who scored a goal in her A-grade women’s debut for Nerimbera Black earlier this year, hopes it’s a stepping stone to bigger things.

“I’d like to one day play for Australia,” she said.

“I’ll just try my hardest. It’s going to be so different to what I’m used to playing.”

Riley was spotted by the Premier FCA’s head coach Paul Edwards while playing for North Rockhampton High team against the Edwards-coached Kawana Waters State College last month.

While NRHS went down 6-0 in the quarter-finals of the Queensland-wide Bill Turner Cup match last week, Edwards said Riley’s ability was clearly evident.

“The score was irrelevant. I was impressed with Charlie’s organisation and leadership skills, and her ability to read the game,” Edwards said.

During the 18-day trip, the team will visit and train with a host of college coaches, play matches against various high school sides before the three-day tournament from November 25-27.

“It’s a great opportunity for young people to be exposed to not only a different style of football, but to the education system over there,” Edwards said.

Nerimbera Black recently took out the 2011 Rockhampton women’s minor premiership following their 3-0 win over reigning premiers Capricorn Coast on Friday night.

Charlie and her mother Donna are currently fundraising to cover the cost of the trip and are inviting local businesses to support her.

For more information contact Paul Edwards on 0412 140 030.



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