Maddie in action for Wide Bay atthe Under-13 State titles in Stanthorpe.
Maddie in action for Wide Bay atthe Under-13 State titles in Stanthorpe. Contributed

Barambah junior in development squad

FORMER Barambah United FC junior Maddie Sansby has gained selection in the Under-13 Queensland Girls High Performance Squad after an impressive six-game spell with National Premier Leagues side Sunshine Coast Fire FC.

Maddie, 13, was nominated for the program by Fire Under-13 coach Abbi Wilkes and will begin the six-week training program in Brisbane next week.

The young football prodigy represented Wide Bay in the Under-13 division since she was a 10 year-old, and it took the Fire coach only 15 minutes of training before asking her to sign-up earlier this year.

This season, Maddie played for Barambah, Fire and Fraser Coast Cooloola all the while spreading her training commitments between the three.

Tuesday was training in Maryborough, Wednesday on the Sunshine Coast, Thursday at home in Wondai, Friday back to the Sunshine Coast and then two games across the weekend - a workload that would leave most professional athletes burnt out.

But not Maddie, said dad Peter.

"Maddie doesn't get burnt out, she lives and breathes it,” Peter said.

"She has a ball at her feet walking around the house - at the dinner table as well.

"While she wants to do it, we'll make sure that we do everything within our power to give her every opportunity.

"We felt it was an important conversation to have - you need to make sure she's doing it for all the right reasons and not because she thinks you want her to do it.”

Peter said Maddie had come along in leaps and bounds since training with Troy Rober't's Elite Eleven Academy in Maryborough.

"She goes to Maryborough every Tuesday night and trains with Troy, who's also coach of the Queensland boys school team,” Peter said.

"He's been extremely instrumental in developing her skills.”

The family bought a new car less than 12 months ago to more easily get Maddie to her trainings, and Peter said they had already clocked over 50,000km. But while the idea of moving to the Sunshine Coast had been discussed, the family decided to stay in Wondai.

"We like the lifestyle and we like where we live, and for us it's a decision as a family to stay put and and travel for training,” Peter said. Maddie will be a permanent member of the Sunshine Coast Fire next season disqualifying her from playing for Barambah , but Peter said it was part and parcel of Maddie achieving her goals.

"Maddie wants to play for the Matildas, that's her dream,” Peter said.

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