Kicking goals on Japan trip
HE MAY be a self-confessed "headless chook" on the pitch, but George Fuller is hoping a dream overseas trip will have further boosted his budding football skills.
The 12-year-old, one of the region's most exciting young players, recently attended the Saitama International Tournament in Japan.
Talented juniors from northern New South Wales were included in the travelling party, testing their skills against players from the host country.
Tintenbar-based George said the visit, which also saw players tour the country, was a great chance to showcase his skills.
"We didn't go there to win every match or smash the other teams," he said. "We went there to show that Australians can play good football.
"It was a great experience and it went really well."
The Year 7 student who attends Skennars Head's Xavier Catholic College and plays for Bangalow juniors earned his place on the trip after impressing at earlier trials.
The group played a handful of matches against teams from the Asian country on the tour, which was aimed at further sharpening players' skills.
Midfielder George, who supports English side West Ham United and counts Barcelona midfield maestro Xavi as his inspiration, said he was impressed by his "amazing" Japanese opponents. "They were hard to defend against as they were so quick," he said.
"They were great technically, but maybe their lack of size lets them down.
"It was hard to stop them.
"Normally I am a player who runs around like a headless chook. Now I feel more confident out there."
The trip also saw the party visit Japanese cities, including the capital Tokyo.
"It was really hectic, but the people are very nice and friendly," he said.
"They are very patient and stand in queues all day.
"I would advise anyone to go there."
George thanked parents Julie Bianchi and Neil Fuller and everyone who assisted the trip.