Dural resident, Abbey Lemon will pull on the Australia jersey for the first time on Thursday, October 6 when she heads to the United Kingdom for three weeks.
The talented year eight student was selected in the under-14-year-old Australian Futsal team in January after an incredible performance at the 2016 Australian Futsal Association national championships held in Penrith.
“I’m super excited,” Abbey said.
“This is my first time overseas.”
In February, Abbey set out to raise $15 000 for the trip through a go fund me page.
In seven months, Abbey and her mother Kellie raised it all by raffling signed sporting gear and setting up a go fund me online donation page.
Her old club, Carlingford Redbacks were very helpful allowing her to host a barbecue and raffle at many of their home games during the season.
Abbey never thought she would be able to raise the money she needed to go.
“I’m super pumped up,” she said.
“It didn’t feel real when we finally raised the money but once I got the uniform I thought this is really happening.
“$15 000 is a massive amount, I didn’t think we would ever raise it.”
Abbey will wear the number 21 jersey, the same number as her coach Mile Sterjovski when he played for the Socceroos.
“I’m really proud to wear the green and gold and wear the same number as my coach,” she said.
“He’s been my main influence so I would like to be the same as him.”
The team will travel to Manchester, Newcastle, Wrekham and Dundee playing against different UK Premier League teams.
To prepare for the trip Abbey has incorporated extra indoor sessions into her weekly training schedule and has been watching the Futsalroos play in the world cup.
Next week she will compete in the outdoor under-14-year-old state titles held in Mudgee, where she will represent Met North.
“That will be good practise leading up to the trip,” she said.
In March Abbey moved to the Hills Sports High School which has been beneficial for her UK tournament preparation.
“It’s great because even though the soccer season has finished we are still training every week,” she said.
“We also train with the boys which makes it more competitive.”
Abbey will head to the UK with her mum Kellie who is also very excited for the trip.
“It will be cool to have mum with me,” Abbey said.
The 14-year-old hopes to play flank, her favourite position.
“It’s like the winger but in indoor,” she said.
Abbey is one of only seven girls in the team including the goal keeper.
There is only one other girl from NSW in the team.
One day Abbey hopes to sign with a W-league team and represent the young Matildas.
Help Abbey continue her dream. Donate: gofundme.com/AbbeyLemon