EXCELLING IN THEIR SPORT: Whitsunday junior soccer players Jarrod Hurley and Owen Hodgen have been recognised among North Queensland's elite junior players.
EXCELLING IN THEIR SPORT: Whitsunday junior soccer players Jarrod Hurley and Owen Hodgen have been recognised among North Queensland's elite junior players.

Duo in elite squad

FOR a small regional Queensland community, the Whitsundays are known for producing some talented sportspeople.

Among them are junior soccer players Owen Hodgen and Jarrod Hurley.

The Whitsunday juniors are already part of the Junior Premier League in Mackay but their most recent achievement is by far the best.

They took part in the first camp as part of the Daily Mercury Elite Player Development Program held at Proserpine Junior Sporting Complex.

The elite squad is made up of the best junior soccer players aged 12 to 15 from Wide Bay to Townsville.

Mackay regional development officer Tony Britton said the new program provided players with another stepping stone to help them in their quest to progress to higher levels in the sport.

“This will take them up to give them a shot to make state,” he said.

“Hopefully it will improve their skills and development.

“They should be fitter and faster and have more quality touched of the ball.”

Britton said one thing going for the local players was their determination.

“Their dedication to the game is second to none,” he said.

“They come down to train in Mackay three times a week.”

Jarrod, 14 and Owen, 13 said the program would be very beneficial for their game as they had their sights set on one day pulling on a Socceroos jersey.

“It will hopefully improve my soccer game,” Jarrod said.

“It's energising and fun and we're getting to learn new skills and meet people,” Owen said.

They are now looking forward to another five camps held across the state later in the year.


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