Former Bundaberg teen Ethan Jones is making his mark in the football world, having just played with a National Premier League club in the Gold Coast Champions Cup last week.
Ethan spent his earlier years with Football Budaberg and Alloway Football Club before being offered a chance to play for Redcliffe's Peninsula Power last year.
Last week, the 15-year-old footy player put his best foot forward with the feeder team in the prestigious Gold Coast Champions Cup, which brings together players from all over the world.
Ethan said although his team lost to Brisbane City in the semi-finals, the first-time experience was fantastic nonetheless.
“I loved playing in the tournament with my friends and being involved with the team,” Ethan said.
The Gold Coast Champions Cup came from humble beginnings of 43 teams in 1996 to today with an annual attendance of more than 150 teams.
The event is an international youth football tournament and cultural exchange held at Sid Bigg Park, Mudgeeraba during the September school holidays each year.
It’s the next leap for Ethan and his sporting endeavors, according to proud Mum Natasha Jones, who said her son’s talent had shone through from a young age.
“We always knew he had a bit of skill for football and he has absolutely loved playing form the age of six onwards,” Natasha said.
“He has huge passion and drive for the sport.”
Bundaberg a major player in Ethan's success
While Ethan has now taken his football career to the metropolitan arena, Natasha said it was his time in regional Bundaberg that really kicked off his talent.
“Ethan started his sporting journey in Bundaberg and has achieved many things over the years including becoming a Bundaberg FC Representative, Wide Bay Representative and also Queensland Rep 2017,” she said.
“His foundation is in Bundy, that's where has given him the best starting point.
“Now the rest is up to him!”
Natasha said she was proud at what her son was achieving and said big things were on the cards.
“He has a good head on his shoulders,” she said.
“I am lucky to have a kid with such a big drive.
“A lot of kids get a bit lost along the way at his age and make some bad choices but because of sport, Ethan is on the right path and we largely have Bundaberg Football to thank for that.”
And what's the plans for the talented player himself? Ethan said he one day hoped his skills would take him all the way to the top.
“I'm working towards a future in the sport. I love playing in a team and learning new skills,” he said.
“I hope to one day play for Australia.”