Theo not short on confidence when it comes to futsal
AS parts of Australia continue to swelter under the summer heat, Theo Clarke is preparing to sweat it out himself.
You won't find him wilting much, though.
The 10-year-old is among scores of Far North Coast players getting ready for the Craig Foster Futsal Challenge, which gets under way today.
Some high-octane action is likely at the three-day indoor soccer competition, which will feature contestants from across Australia and the Pacific region, but Theo isn't daunted.
"If you're going to have to face that you'll need your stamina," he said.
"I'm not meaning to boast, but I've got a bit of stamina and skills, so hopefully I'll be okay.
"I'm pretty excited about how it will go, but I'm a bit nervous as well."
The annual Brisbane tournament is billed as one of the biggest dates on the sport's calendar in Australia.
Five-a-side teams from all over the country, New Zealand and the Solomon Islands will feature.
Theo, of Lismore's St Carthage's Primary School, took up the sport about a year ago after encouragement from friends.
Since then the Year 5 pupil has gone from strength-to-strength, earning a place at the event after impressing in recent trials.
Eleven sides representing FNC NSW Futsal will attend the competition, which is named after Lismore's former Socceroos star.
Games will be played in junior, youth, men's and women's sections.
FNC NSW Futsal director of training and coaching Vinnie Leite said he couldn't wait for the action to start.
The Brazilian, a notable futsal player himself, has been busy preparing his charges and will also take to the court at the competition.
"I'm really excited," Leite said.
"It's very rewarding for me seeing more and more teams entering.
"It shows more people are getting interested in futsal across Australia."