Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Young soccer players hit the big-time

Three young Benalla Rovers soccer players will represent the Albury-Wodonga region this season.

January 31, 2014 4:18am

Natalie Grima, Ebony Massey and Josh Grima will represent the region in soccer this season.

Three young Benalla soccer players have been selected to represent the region.

Benalla Rovers Soccer Club players Natalia Grima, 11, Ebony Massey, 10, and Josh Grima, 8, have all been chosen in the Albury-Wodonga Football Association representative team for the 2014 season.

The trio attended selections for five weeks at the end of last year before Natalie and Ebony were chosen for the under-12 girls’ team and Josh in the under-nine boys’ skills acquisition program.

While Josh said he was looking forward to meeting new people and kicking goals, Natalie and Ebony said they were excited to play in an all-girls team for the first time.

‘‘Playing in an all-girls team will be a very unique experience for them,’’ Natalie and Josh’s father Danny Grima said.

Benalla Rovers Soccer Club is one of the smallest clubs in the association, and Danny said it was a fantastic achievement for such a small club.

‘‘It should be a good promotion for the club, showing that we have players with such skills,’’ Danny said.

‘‘We had a good showing at all the trials, and it was really great to have the commitment from parents and players travelling that far,’’ Ebony’s mother Jo Cooper said.

The trio will train every second weekend throughout the season, with matches held as far away as Bathurst and Griffith.

The selection comes as Benalla Rovers prepares for a huge season, with the club nearly doubling in size.

‘‘We’ve gone from three junior teams to five, and from two senior reserves teams to a senior and senior reserves team in men’s and ladies,’’ Cooper said.

Benalla Rovers will hold registration days for its upcoming season on January 30 and 31 and February 6 and 7 from 6pm at Churchill Reserve.

Junior training will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm; all new players are welcome to join the expansion of the club.

The club will celebrate its 65th anniversary this year.

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