Although a title win is their end goal as a team, for Orange's Harriet Shuttleworth and her NSW Country teammates Junior Matildas selection is a dangling carrot at this weekend's Football Federation Australia National Youth Girls' Under-14 Championship.
The under-15 championship is held in conjunction at Coffs Harbour and both tournaments act as part of the selection process for the Australian under-16 squad, once named the Junior Matildas squad heads into camp before a tour in August.
Grenfell's Anna Hunt proved last year national selection certainly isn't beyond the realms of possibility for the NSW Country sides, she'll once again line-up in the under-15 outfit this week too.
Following in her footsteps is the ultimate individual goal for Shuttleworth and of course helping her side improve on last year's fourth finish, potentially with a title, would be the perfect way to do that.
She was named following NSW's arduous, three-camp selection process and even though she's an incumbent and went through the rigours the year before, the 13-year-old Orange High shot-stopper said she didn't go into the trials with any expectations.
"I was a little bit confident (of being picked again), but not too much," she said.
"Last year was good experience, it was really fun and there was some great people in the team. I think this year will be hard, Metro will be pretty tough again, we'll just go and play our best and see how we go."
Shuttleworth is joined by Western NSW Mariners FC teammates Mackenzie Crook, Claire Ferguson, Kasey Hayes, Aimee Longhurst, Abbey Nolan-Hodges, Charlotte Roberts, Ruby Smith and Isabelle Wilson and their established combinations will be a help, but NSW Country is a relatively inexperienced side regardless.
"There was three of us coming back from last year but now there's two, (Wagga City's) Beth Huxley is injured," Shuttleworth said.
Shuttleworth's Country side is pitted against Capital Football (ACT), Football West (Western Australia), Northern NSW, Tasmania and the Northern Territory in the group stage, they face the latter side first-up on Monday morning.
Newcastle Jets, NSW Metro, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria make up the other under-14 pool, and Shuttleworth comes into the tournament after an "incredible" experience in France too.
She was part of the Football NSW side that followed the Matildas around during their World Cup campaign, playing a handful of games as well as watching all of Australia's clashes.
She also brings versatility to the Glenn Stedman-coached side, despite being a renowned shot-stopper she regularly plays on the field for her school side, landing a stunning, match-winning free kick in the Hornets' Astley Cup victory over Dubbo College not long ago.
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"I play in goal for the Mariners and Country because I'm better there, but move out onto the field for Orange High," she explained.
"I think it might have been from a handball, but it was just outside the box and I chipped it over the keeper, it was pretty cool."
NSW Country's clash with Northern Territory kicks off at 2.50pm, the group stage finishes on Thursday before the finals on Friday.
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