Hard work and dedication to the sport they love has paid off for two Bay boys who have been selected to represent Newcastle at the Northern NSW Football State Championships.
Goalkeeper Charlie McGrath, from Corlette, and midfielder Finn O’Mara, from Nelson Bay, will represent Newcastle United at the championships in Coffs Harbour during the June long weekend.
McGrath will play in under-11s, while O’Mara will play in under-12s.
The 11 year olds have been training since October 2016 after trialling for and being accepted into Northern NSW’s Skills Acquisition Program (SAP) in Newcastle.
Ava McGann, 11, from Shoal Bay, was also accepted into the girls SAP program.
McGann is unable to play in a state championship until she reaches the under-12 age division.
This is the first year McGrath and O’Mara, who started playing the sport with Nelson Bay Football Club, have made the SAP program.
They train three times in Newcastle during the week and play two games on a Saturday.
“For kids like Charlie and Finn who live and breathe football, to be able to train more than just the one night like at club level is everything to them,” Kellie McGann, Charlie’s mum, said.
Both boys said they were “excited” for the state championships.
“It’s going to be a lot tougher,” Finn said of the competition he was expecting at the tournament.
“We’ve talked a little about it [championship]. But we’ve just been working on our skills.”