The Central Coast has already produced an Australian representative goalkeeper in Mat Ryan, and although Noah Fearnside is just 12, he could well be The Central Coast's next big star.
The youngster, from Yarramalong, has been selected for the under-12 Australian futsal team two years in a row to underline his representative credentials.
Noah is another product of the International Football School at Kariong, and as a fellow shot stopper he looks up to Ryan, who has just been signed for newly-promoted English Premier League club Brighton.
The up-and-coming keeper said it meant the world to him to be selected for his country at such a young age.
“My biggest achievement would have to be making the Australian team,” Noah said.
“That first year I was selected, I cried when my mum told me. I was just so happy that all my hard work was good enough to warrant selection.”
Noah said backing up his selection last year with selection again this year gave him more belief in his ability.
“Making the team again this year was harder as I know it’s harder to keep a spot than it is to get it in the first place,” he said.
“This team was picked from the team that went to Malaysia last year, so to me that showed me that I had done a great job in Malaysia last year and represented my country well.
“I was very happy and because the tournament is in Barcelona just makes it so much better.”
Futsal is an abbreviated version of football, played on a smaller field (usually indoors) with five players a side, but still has FIFA as the governing body.
Although most players want to, and do, play 11-a-side football, it is still a very popular and competitive sport in its own right.
Noah Fearnside, Local Sports Star, futsal and indoor soccer player training at Kariong. Picture: Peter Clark
“I got into futsal as I wanted to do something in the off-season because I love football so much. I love futsal because it is much faster than outdoor football and as a goalie, you see much more action,” Noah said.
“I’d like to play 11-a-side at some point, but at the moment, it seems I’m better at indoor.”
Noah is this week’s Local Sports Stars nominee for the Express Advocate in the Junior Sports Star Individual category.
The Local Sports Stars program is searching for outstanding athletes aged under 18, as well as those who love and contribute to making sport a great experience for everyone.
We also want to celebrate the parents, coaches and volunteers who help make it all possible.
The program has five categories — Junior Sports Star Individual, Junior Sports Star Team, Young Sporting Spirit Individual, Young Sporting Spirit Team and Service to Sport.
Nominate someone at www.localsportsstars.com.au