A TEENAGE expat is celebrating after winning a place in a top football team Down Under.
Tom Beadling moved from Sunderland to Australia last year after his dad was offered a position with the country’s Royal Navy.
The 13-year-old, from Ashbrooke, originally played for a local team, but then took part in trials for the State of Western Australia side.
And after impressing selectors, the former pupil at St Aidan’s RC School has now been chosen as one of the final 22 boys to represent Australia in the Under-13 Festival of Football tournament in Malaysia next month.
Speaking from the family home in Perth, Western Australia, proud mum Tracy told the Echo: “We are very proud of what Tom has already achieved at such a young age. He always gives 100 per cent for every team he is playing for, whether it is his local team or playing at international level.
“Tom’s coaches always comment on his excellent work ethic, and his drive and determination to succeed. From the age of seven he has shown he has ability and he constantly works hard to ensure he continues to improve his game.”
Tom, who has also attended the Sunderland Academy of Light, said he was now looking forward to the tournament in South East Asia.
“At first, I just played for a local team, but then took part in trials for the state team, the State of Western Australia,” he said. “I was successful and, as a result of this, went on to play with the state squad at the National Youth Championships held in Canberra.
“Every state was represented and from the youth championships I was then identified by the Australian selectors and was invited for a training camp in Canberra at the Australian Institute of Sport.
“I was then selected in the final 22 boys to represent Australia in the international tournament to be held in Malaysia. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Warren Grieve, junior coach at the State of Western Australia football organisation, said: “We had six in the initial squad of 30 – and to have five in the final 22 is a sensational result and shows that these boys have the character, quality and skills to hopefully go on from here and be future stars.”