TWO Westside Devils soccer players have just returned home after representing the state at the national youth championships in New South Wales.
Keilin Fagan, 13, a forward, and Charlea Malkin, 14, a goalkeeper, were the only Northern girls picked in the 16-member, state under-15 team that took part in the championships held in Coffs Harbour.
``We found out we had been picked about a week after the state camp was held in Hobart and it was an amazing feeling,'' Charlea said.
``It was a bit nerve-racking because the coach only took one goalie last year and there were two trying out for the team - but we both got picked this year.''
Keilin said she hoped to make the team this year after being a reserve last year.
The St Patrick's College year 8 students said the competition had been tough at the national tournament with Tasmania finishing winless after five games in the week-long tournament against other states and territory teams.
``Overall it was really good because the teams were at the same age and level and it was good to see some of the best girls in Australia play together and the whole tournament being so close,'' Keilin said.
''We played one game each day and then we either went for a recovery walk or pool recovery - they had two ice baths over there which were interesting - it was an experience.''
Both girls started playing soccer aged about five and play futsal (indoor soccer) in summer with Charlea also involved in swimming.
They both said they would like to continue with their sport with an aim of one day making the National Training Centre and progressing on to senior ranks in the W-League and with a dream of one day playing for the Matildas.
The state under-15 side was coached by Launceston's Darren Cook with Hobart's Craig Westwood his assistant.
Sarah Black was the team manager.
A state under-13 team also attended the championships.