Talented player Kiri Dale

CAPTAIN MATERIAL: Kiri Dale is well on her way to bigger things.
CAPTAIN MATERIAL: Kiri Dale is well on her way to bigger things.

KIRI Dale is one of FFNC's most talented young female players and spent last week competing against the best under-15 female footballers in the country at the National Championships in Coffs Harbour.

Despite growing up in Sydney, where she started playing at age five, Kiri is now a country girl at heart.

The Year 9 student, who attends Mullumbimby High School, is bright, articulate and well respected by her peers.

When Kiri was selected in the state side this year, it was no great surprise that coach Peter Haynes appointed Kiri captain given her excellent communication skills.

On the field, Kiri is a natural central defender and having the captaincy has allowed her to excel as a leader. She said she was "pretty happy" with how she played last week.

Having the added responsibility of being captain does not suit all players but for Kiri the role challenges her to perform to higher standards. Speaking with her soon after a tough game against tournament winners Metropolitan, Kiri said that she was exhausted after playing almost every minute for her team during an arduous week of spirited competition.

These tournaments require many months of preparation for individual players and create high expectations to achieve excellence for the team in each game. Players are under the eye of state and national selectors who are looking for the elite few who will progress to senior competitions like the W-League and possible selection for Australia.

Like all footballers who want to play at the highest level, Kiri trains every day and is currently being mentored by FIFA-accredited coach Belinda Wilson, who is highly regarded in world female football.

2013 could see Kiri travel to Germany in an exchange program and, given the thousands of kilometres that Kiri has travelled every season to pursue her football development, there is no question that this young lady displays commitment and desire.

Kiri said that she owes much to her parents who have supported her dream to one day become a Matilda and while she speaks with humility and respect about everyone, one senses that Kiri Dale is a person driven by focus and purpose. Congratulations Kiri for representing FFNC with distinction.

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