By Stuart Kavanagh
While soccer doesn’t seem to attract the same number of players in Broken Hill as AFL does, there is certainly no lack of talent.
I was at O’Neill Sporting Complex this Sunday and was lucky enough to talk to not one, not two, but four state representatives who play across the Broken Hill Junior Soccer Association ranks.
The first player I came across was young Alma u/12s player Shu Fujiwara. Usually, a right back or striker, his coach Scott Deery told me, “really, he can play anywhere.”
Having watched the pocket dynamo go through his paces in training, I can advocate for him being one to watch as he ascends through the age groups in the BHJSA.
I think it is safe to say this last state call-up he received will not be his last.
I then had the opportunity to meet three girls from the Celtic u/14 & u/12s sides who went to represent South Australia back in June.
These girls are so talented they sometimes pull double duty playing for Celtic’s senior womens’ team.
Sisters Kiri and Mia Johnson, along with striker Miranda King were all selected to rep the state, and although match results weren’t quite what they hoped for, all three impressed.
Kiri is currently training to be a goalkeeper for her club. She did play further up the field when on state duty, evidence of her supreme talent.
Her sister Mia is a versatile right back/midfielder and was also one of the top performers at the state competition.
Miranda King plays up front, sometimes pulling double duty as a midfielder when required. Miranda flourished at the state carnival, the SA rep side’s top goal scorer with five goals.
Incredibly, Miranda and her family live in Wilcannia and make the nearly four hours round trip at least every Sunday, and most times twice a week!
Get down to O’Neill Sporting Complex and catch a glimpse at some of the state’s best talent. With these four, you might well be watching future Socceroos or Matildas in action.