ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD Owen Hodgen and 13-year-old Ryan Lee have recently been selected in the Queensland Country squads for their respective ages.
The two Proserpine Taipan players competed in the Rebel Sport Junior Premier League in Townsville from June 26-30.
Teams from Central Queensland, Far North Queensland, North Queensland, Wide Bay and Mackay battled it out.
After the tournament, the best players were selected in the Queensland Country squad for their age group.
Owen was lucky enough to be selected in the under-12s squad and was extremely happy with his achievements.
“I was very happy and proud,” he said.
“It came as a bit of a surprise as well.”
Owen will join the squad in late September where he will train in a state camp on the Gold Coast alongside some of Queensland's best soccer players in his age group.
The camp will help Owen develop the skills he needs before he has the opportunity to try out for the under-13s national team next year.
“My main goal is to make the (national) team,” the young striker said.
“I think I've got a good chance and I can't wait.”
Meanwhile, Ryan Lee will hope to do the Whitsundays proud when he travels to Coffs Harbour later this year to compete in the national titles.
As a member of the 22-man under-14s Queensland squad, Ryan is hoping to prove himself as a player of the future when he takes on other state teams at nationals.
“I was pretty happy to make it after my name was read out last,” he said.
“I just want to play my hardest and hope to do my best at nationals.”
Ryan first strapped on his soccer boots as an eager six-year-old playing for the Proserpine Taipans. He hopes his recent selection a stepping stone towards achieving his dream of becoming a professional soccer player.
“I hope to one day play for the (North Queensland) Fury,” he said.
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