Western Pride’s goalkeeping program has received a major boost with Elli Chapple currently appearing in a national tournament in front of FFA technical staff.
Chapple is playing for Queensland at the National Training Centre Challenge at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
So far Pride’s U17 custodian has kept clean sheets during draws against Northern NSW and NSW, and saved a penalty as Queensland defeated ACT 2-1.
Senior Women coach Belinda Kitching said Chapple’s strength and shot-stopping ability were some of the attributes which had put her on the radar for NTC selection.
“Elli has been our busiest player this year,” Kitching said.
“Last term she was playing at Pride, the NTC and in school girl’s squad.
“We’ve recognised this is is too much for a young player, but it didn’t stop Elli improving.”
Chapple’s selection is the most recent success of Pride’s female goalkeeping program.
Pride’s U15 keeper Lateisha Wilkins represented Queensland at the FFA Girls National Championships earlier this month, while Senior Women keeper Veeren has started a two-week trial with Brisbane Roar’s W-League squad.
As a former Matilda, Kitching knows how trials and representative football can improve a young player’s career.
“Being exposed to new and experienced coaches helped me listen and learn quite quickly as a player,” Kitching said.
“Being given the correct feedback and dealing with disappointments helped me achieve what I did in my career.
“Being a GK myself I relate 100% to what Elli, Lateisha and Kirsten are going through because it happened to me a player.”