OFF TO RIO: Georgia Keen (red), Alstonville, on the ball in this file picture of the 2011 Far North Coast women’s premier league clash between Bangalow and Alstonville.
OFF TO RIO: Georgia Keen (red), Alstonville, on the ball in this file picture of the 2011 Far North Coast women’s premier league clash between Bangalow and Alstonville. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Facing the girls from Brazil

HER bags are almost packed and the fundraising completed for Alstonville soccer player Georgia Keen to experience the overseas trip of a lifetime.

The 16-year-old Trinity Catholic College student will meet her Australian Under-19 Schoolgirls' soccer team in Sydney on Tuesday night before flying out to Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.

The team will play three games against club sides in Brazil with another five games to follow in Argentina.

"I'm looking forward to playing with the team and it will be great to experience the culture," Keen said.

"We'll be going to Corcovado Mountain and doing all the sightseeing stuff for two-and-a-half weeks."

"Hopefully we'll play all right. I think the other teams will be a pretty good standard."

Keen raised about $7000 for her journey and also had to pay for vaccinations and a passport on top of that.

She was selected in the team last October after starting out as a shadow player for NSW Combined Catholic Colleges in June.

The striker received a late call-up after a player pulled out and impressed enough to warrant Australian selection at the national championships at Townsville in August.

Keen is the second youngest player in the team and one of a few in the team who doesn't attend a boarding school.

"As much as I'm looking forward to playing, the sightseeing part of the trip is going to be great," Keen said.

"I'm starting to get a bit nervous but I'm sure we'll get together and play well."

Keen also views the trip as a chance for further representative honours with past players from the Under-19 team going on to play for the Matildas.

Because of her age, she will have two more opportunities to make the Under-19 side. She starts Year 11 at Trinity this year.

"I've been doing my own training for a while now and it's a good chance to get away for a couple of weeks," Keen said.

"Every time you make a team you get playing experience at higher levels, which is always better than training."



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