THEY'VE been mates since pre-school and now two Bathurst boys are set to represent NSW Country together at next year's National Futsal Championships.
Scots All Saints College students Max Banning and Jake Kearney have both been selected in the under 12s team that will head to the Gold Coast from January 5-9.
The two mates both play for their school's under 12s team, while Kearney plays for Western NSW in under 13s.
Banning is with the Spark Futbol Academy, which is based in Sydney near Macquarie University.
Kearney, a midfielder, said he's looking forward to the opportunity of playing in the national championships early next year.
"It'll be pretty good," he said.
"We had to tryout a few months ago and now we're going to the Gold Coast in January to play.
"I'm really looking forward to it because we get to go on a bit of a holiday, while playing futsal, which is really fun."
This isn't the first time Kearney has appeared at the national championships, having represented NSW Country under 12s at the start of 2023 in Melbourne.
For those unfamiliar with futsal, it's five-a-side, unlike the 11-a-side for normal football.
It's also played on a smaller field and played at a much faster pace.
"You also have different positions and it requires more skill really," Kearney said.
"Like the ball doesn't bounce and it's really fast paced."
Banning, a goalkeeper, said he's excited about the opportunity too.
He said he would love to go all the way and play for the Socceroos one day.
He's favourite player is ex-Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.
MacKillop College student Jacinta Knight is also excepted to feature at the national championships, being selected in the NSW Country under 15s girls team.
The 2024 National Futsal Championships will bring players together for under 12s, 13s, 14s, 15s and 16s boys, youth and open men, as well as under 13s, 15s and 17s girls, youth and open women and open and mixed AWD (athletes with disabilities).
The National Futsal Championships will be held at the Carrara Indoor Sports Stadium, not far from where the Gold Coast Suns play their AFL matches.
They competition will form part of Football Queensland's Summer Festival of Futsal, which will also feature Football Threes, beach soccer exhibition matches and the Gold Coast International.