Juniors prepare for the Joeys Mini World Cup
NO-NONSENSE Nicholas Elliott takes his football duties very seriously.
The 12-year-old is among several of the region's players preparing for the forthcoming McDonald's Joeys Mini World Cup.
Teams from across northern New South Wales and southern Queensland will contest the event, with players aiming for success and the chance to earn a dream overseas trip.
Defensive midfielder Nicholas said he was hoping for a good performance.
"I have to make sure that ball doesn't go through to our centre backs," the Trinity Catholic College student said.
"I have to make sure they are not left two against two with the opposition strikers.
"I like playing there as it's quite important.
"I really like playing this tournament. It is really enjoyable and it's just a chance to play soccer.
"It is about having fun and trying to win."
Juniors with the Lismore Thistles, Italo Stars, Lennox Head Sharks and South Lismore clubs will be among those attending the tournament, which takes place in Inverell .
Competition gets started next month, with boys and girls representing different nations, playing games in different age divisions.
Run with the assistance of former Socceroos boss Rale Rasic, the event also offers players the chance to earn a soccer trip to Europe.
This will be the fourth year regional players have attended the competition, which attracts players from Muswellbrook up to Toowoomba.
Michael Elliott, who is assisting plans for the trip, said he hoped the children would benefit from the tournament.
"It is just about furthering their football experience," he said.
"There is a good standard at the tournament. It's a lot of fun as well.
"I hope they enjoy the experience of playing the tournament, come back better players and make some new friends.
Elliott thanked all sponsors and everyone assisting the trip.