Youngster Joel Bartley had a stellar year playing in the goals for the Taipans and he is showing no signs of slowing down.
The Tahmoor under-12 division one side reached the grand final after Joel saved two penalties in a shoot out but the team lost in the final.
Despite the setback, Joel was selected as goalkeeper for the Razorback Primary School Sport Association representative squad and he reached his goal when he was selected to play in the Macarthur Rams under-13 national premier league one squad.
“I’m excited to play for the Rams because I’ll face excellent players and I’ll have to train harder,” Joel said.
To cement his success, the Tahmoor Public School year six student was invited for a trial at Bossley Park High School’s Gifted and Talented Football program.
The ‘Joelkeeper’, as his teammates call him, was accepted into the program and will attend Bossley Park next year.
“The program is well run and it will give me the opportunity to play more soccer and the competition will be more advanced than other school sport,” Joel said.
Joel, who is also a twin, only started playing soccer two years ago.
“I picked up the sport quickly,” Joel said. “Saving a goal is an amazing feeling. I still get nervous when a player lines up to take a shot but I try not to worry about it.”
“I can usually tell where the player will aim but looking at their eyes, which way their leg is aiming and which foot they use to kick.
“I can usually tell where the player will aim by looking at their eyes, which way their leg is aiming and which foot they use to kick.”
Joel dreams of playing soccer professionally.
Joel idolises Socceroos star Tim Cahill, who also has English and Samoan heritage.