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Watt comes next? Sports star sets new goals

South Burnett Times deputy editor Christian Berechree presents Taylor Watt with the Junior Sportsperson of the Year award.
South Burnett Times deputy editor Christian Berechree presents Taylor Watt with the Junior Sportsperson of the Year award. Claudia Williams

SPORTS AWARDS: Taylor Watt has been voted by the South Burnett community the South Burnett Times Junior Sportsperson of the Year after a stellar season on the football field and athletics track.

The talented defender received the Kingaroy Gunnettes best and fairest award and also collected the South Burnett Football rising star for women. She also struck gold at the Little Athletics Queensland state relays.

Taylor has now set her sights on even higher goals and will relocate to Brisbane in 2018 to attend Kelvin Grove State College where she will participate in their Queensland Football School of Excellence program.

"It is pretty exciting,” Taylor said.

She will also step it up at club level to play for National Premier League outfit Ipswich Pride.

The Pride has already started pre-season training and Taylor said she is excited for the season ahead.

"The training sessions are a bit more intense,” she said.

A lot of them are probably a bit better than me because they have been playing at that level for longer but eventually I will work my way up.

Taylor will have a busy schedule during the school term with the Pride training three nights a week as well as four sessions during school hours.

Among the coaches at the Pride are former Matildas players while the college coaching staff includes former Socceroos and Taylor is aiming to make the most of the opportunities.

"I really want to keep focussing on my soccer and really improve and one day play for the women's Brisbane Roar team and maybe one day the Matildas,” she said.

Taylor said the support of coaches had a big influence on her approach to sport.

"I want to say a big thank you to all my coaches they have helped me a lot throughout the years. I have learnt a lot from them,” she said.

Taylor was part of the Kingaroy Gunners cadet team this season and also played for the Gunettes in the women's competition where she lined up as a central defender.

"It's a good feeling to stop the ball going through the goal and chasing the attackers down,” she said.

Gunners coach Sam Macri said Taylor was a dedicated player and has the ability to bring the best out of her teammates.

"She is a really good player to train,” he said.

"She is always punctual and on time and doesn't do anything half-hearted.

"If you ask her to concentrate on something she will try and bring it to her game.

"In general she is well composed and keeps her cool and this year she united the team and played a senior role in the cadets team.

"She does a lot of talking with the goalkeeper and letting people know where they should be and giving a lot of direction.”

While Taylor shone on the football field, she is also a keen athlete and is looking forward to being closer to the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre in Brisbane.

Taylor this month represented South Burnett Little Athletics Centre at the Little Athletics Queensland state relays.

She teamed up with Nanango athlete Bree Pogany to win gold in long jump and silver in the 100m relay.

The duo has been competing together in little athletics for seven years and Taylor said their time together gave them an edge, especially when passing the baton in relays.

"I think it helps because when you are passing the baton we trust each other and you can judge if they slow down or speed up and if they are getting tired or if they are going too fast,” she said.

It has been a busy end of the year for Taylor who was named Kingaroy State High School's Bass Blue Sportsperson of the Year and was being nominated by the school for the Australia Day awards.

Taylor's mother, Linda, said she expects to miss Taylor when she heads south but she is excited for the opportunities her daughter will have in Brisbane.

"I'm really excited to see what she can achieve. It's exciting to think what's out there and what she can go for now,” she said.

Topics:  athletics football kingaroy gunners south burnett football sportsperson of the year taylor watt

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