RYAN Kalms is one of just two regional players who have been selected to represent the School Sport Victoria 12-and-under soccer team.
The squad of 14 that is dominated by metropolitan players will compete at the School Sport Australia Championships in Glenwood in September.
Kalm is in grade six at Quarry Hill Primary School and has been playing soccer for the past eight years.
The 12-year-old has previously represented Victoria Country twice at the Futsal National Championships and is now looking forward to showing his talents on the big stage in the outdoor game.
“There’s a lot of players who tried out for the team, so it gives me some self-confidence having made it,” Kalms said this week.
“I really enjoy the skill of soccer and all the different ways you can be a different player to others.”
Kalms – a member of the Bendigo City FC under-13 squad – plays as an attacking midfielder or forward.
The Victorian team, which has been selected following an extensive trial period that began in April, will be coached by Nick Mammone.
“Ryan is a technical player who has sound skills with the ball in terms of his dribbling and passing, is well balanced and able to use both his left and right foot well, which is a really good quality to have,” Mammone said.
“That versatility he has is important in the make-up of a squad for a tournament like this where there’s a lot of games to be played. We think Ryan has the ability to play a number of different roles, whether it be through the midfield or forward area.
“It has been an arduous trial and selection process given the huge number of players registered from primary schools across Victoria.
“We’ve picked a team to compete at a national tournament and we think Ryan is well equipped for that.”