Futsal stars rising in Bello
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
ALL the football attention may be on the national teams that are playing outdoors, but the students at Bellingen High School are more concerned with the indoor version of the sport Futsal.
In 2007, Bellingen High cemented their place as the premier futsal school on the North Coast with the under 16 girls team performing so well that they finished third at the national titles in the Vikings Futsal tournament.
Making the performance of the small country high school even more meritorious is the selection of three of their players into national teams.
Considering the tournament included 2000 teams from over 250 schools throughout Australia, the effort of Ben Dooley and Damian Fuller from the school's open team and Georgia Myles from the under 16 girls squad to get selected in the Australian teams that will be travelling to Brazil in May is extraordinary.
While in Brazil, the trio will be guests of the famed Athletico Futeball team and they will get chances to watch them train and play in the Brazilian Campeonato.
This will be a fantastic experience for the players and a great opportunity to extend themselves further.
Amazing! Three Bellingen High School players selected in Australian teams in the same year.
The school entered eight teams into this year's tournament and amazingly seven of them qualified to play in the Northern zone Champion of Champions finals which covered schools from Port Macquarie all the way up to Cairns.
Unsure of how they might handle themselves in such a large competition, all fears were allayed when the open boys team smashed Alstonville 12-1 in the opening match to claim the Northern NSW title.
The boys progressed through to the quarter finals and the 14 years girls did exactly the same the next day.
On the third day, the under 16 girls turned heads again for Bellingen as they qualified for the national finals by making it to the semis.
A fortnight ago in Runaway Bay the girls took on the best in the country to grab a sensational bronze medal.