Kingaroy teen impresses on UK football tour
KINGAROY teenager Griffin Rogerson has just returned from an intensive two-week football tour of the United Kingdom, but he is already looking ahead to 2017.
The 15 year-old will pack his bags for the Sunshine Coast, after being accepted into Kawana High School's football excellence program.
It follows a whirlwind month for the talented teen, who travelled with a combined Queensland side to play against the best professional academy sides in the UK.
The versatile midfielder was one of the stand-out players in the touring side, bagging two goals in one of the trial matches from a central defensive midfielder role.
"We versed Celtic's academy team, Huddersfield academy and the under-14 Scottish youth team,” Griffin said.
"It was my first time going overseas, it was pretty good but a lot to take in.”
Scottish giants Celtic are one of the biggest clubs in the world, with Australia's Tom Rogic one of their star players.
Huddersfield compete in the English League Championship - the second-division of professional English football - and thus the level of competition was extremely high.
Selection in the 17-man squad was based on merit - Griffin's representative caps with South Burnett and Wide Bay were enough to be considered for the tour.
The 15-day tour of England and Scotland focused on player development and learning the professional processes from world-class coaches at the academy squads.
"Pretty much as soon as we landed we were training,” Griffin said.
"We trained constantly, it was tough but a really good experience.”
The training sessions were a highlight for Griffin, who continually improved over the journey.
"I learnt a lot and improved my skills a heap, it definitely made me a better player,” Griffin said.
Despite the intense schedule, the team found time to attend the Premier League fixture between Manchester City and Burnley.
Himself a Chelsea fan, Griffin said the whole experience only confirmed to him that a professional career is a dream he will continue to chase.
"I went over to experience how the professionals do it, and it's definitely something I'm aiming for,” he said.
"Every chance I get I'll be training, and moving to the (Sunshine) Coast next year to go to the Kawana Academy (will) help keep my skills up.”
Despite moving to the Sunshine Coast after the initial Sunshine Coast Fire trials, Griffin hopes he will be able to snag a spot before the 2017 season starts.