Meet the Socceroos of the future
SOME of the FNC's budding young talents are gearing up to take their first serious steps towards potential Socceroo status.
The region's under-11 and under-12 boys sides will battle other promising players from across the state at this weekend's Northern New South Wales Football State Championships.
Playing at the Coffs Harbour tournament will be the next step in an "intensive" program which has seen the juniors hone their skills.
Victor Stokes, technical director of Football FNBC, said he was eager to see his charges in action.
"I think I'm more excited than the kids, to be honest," he said.
"The experience of being in this environment is a wonderful thing for the kids.
"It should be a fantastic tournament and we are really excited about it."
Players have been on a training program for the last few months in preparation for the championships at the city's International Stadium.
The program has been focusing on improving key elements of participants' games, including passing, running with the ball and one-on-one work.
Stokes said the scheme aimed to have long-term benefits for the juniors.
"It has been intensive," he said.
"The aim is to make sure they are not just good 11 and 12-year-olds, but they are good 18-year-olds.
"We want them to be knocking on the door of teams like Brisbane Roar and from there have the opportunity to play for the young Joeys."
Far North Coast will take on the other northern NNSW zone members at the competition which starts on Saturday.
Stokes said he was confident of a good display from the region's two sides.
"Technically, I am sure we can match the other sides," he said.
"Physically, it may be a bit different.
"The players' technical ability has improved out of sight on the program.
"I think if the boys believe in themselves, they can match the other sides."
The event concludes on Monday.