Bendigo pair Ryan Merriman and Brad Mitchell to represent Australia at Under-14 Futsal World Cup

NATIONAL SELECTION: Bendigo's Ryan Merriman and Brad Mitchell will represent Australia in Futsal later this year. Picture: DARREN HOWE

NATIONAL SELECTION: Bendigo's Ryan Merriman and Brad Mitchell will represent Australia in Futsal later this year. Picture: DARREN HOWE

TWO Bendigo young guns are among the national squad of 10 that has been selected to play for Australia at the Under-14 Futsal World Cup later this year.

Goalkeeper Brad Mitchell, 13, and Ryan Merriman,14, will both represent Australia in Spain when the World Cup – featuring more than 20 countries – is played in December.

The talented pair were selected following the Futsal National Championships in Sydney in January, where both starred for Victoria Country to earn their berths in the World Cup squad.

“It’s very exciting to be picked and a great privilege to play for Australia,” said Brad, a Year 8 student at Bendigo South East College.

The World Cup will be Ryan’s second overseas tour representing Australia in Futsal.

Last year he was a member of the Australian under-13 team that competed in a tournament that was also held in Spain.

“It’s a fantastic honour to be selected and it’s going to be great to see how all the other countries play in terms of formations and the types of players they are,” said Ryan, a Year 8 student at Girton Grammar.

Victoria Country technical director Corey Smith said the selection of Brad and Ryan – as well as two other players from Ballarat – in the Australian World Cup squad was reflective of the state’s regional Futsal talent.

The fact Ryan and Brad have both been selected shows how talented they are - Corey Smith - Victoria Country technical director

“I would think Victoria Country is in the top two regions in Australia for Futsal based on results in the past couple of National Championships,” Smith said.

“The fact Ryan and Brad have both been selected shows how talented they are.

“I would rate Brad the best goalkeeper for his age in Australia at the moment and Ryan is a core player who is a little more attacking and flamboyant. When he’s at his best, he’s definitely one of the best players going around as well.”

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