It’s football fever for two Bundaberg boys who have been selected to join the national squad and travel to England for the West Ham United development tour.
As most local children spend their spring school holidays getting ready for warmer weather and the beach, Cruz Kemps and Xavier Holzberger will strap on their boots to take in the ultimate professional football experience in England.
The 11-year-old best mates both agreed they lived and breathed football from a young age, and all their hard work and dedication was now paying off.
During the 10-day tour Cruz and Xavier will be trained by some of best coaches in England and be given the opportunity to watch international matches on the big stage.
After passing the regional selection process last year, Cruz and Xavier went on to the national football camp of about 400 kids.
They were then both given the green light to take part in the international tour along with 50 other keen young Australian footballers.
Speaking from the Gold Coast camp before they departed for England, Cruz and Xavier said they were both thrilled to be part of the Australian team.
“I am really excited! The first thing I expect to do is to watch a lot of games and do some intense training,” Cruz said.
“My favourite player is Virgil van Dijk – he plays for Liverpool and inspired me to play my position as defender.”
Xavier said they both played for Bargara Football Club, and after winning the U-13 grand final together this year he looked forward to learning new skills in the West Ham United development tour.
Both boys said they hoped to go on to become professional footballers and taking part in the West Ham United development tour was a step in the right direction.
Cruz’s mum Holly Kemps said both Cruz and Xavier had put in the hard yards, and she was proud their dedication was paying off.
“When the opportunity arose, as parents we thought why not?” Holly said.
“Both boys train a lot, five days a week, and they played each Saturday.
“It’s a pretty big thing for them as they are only 11 years old!”
Holly said another local boy, Lucas Cunningham, had also been selected but he couldn’t make it, and Lilly Thatcher was selected to join the female tour at a later date.
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