Western Pride footballer Jesse Rigby
Western Pride footballer Jesse Rigby Chris Simpson

Exciting Pride duo chosen for national camp

WESTERN Pride footballers Jesse Rigby and Joe Duckworth have won a shot at the big time after being selected for the inaugural PS4 Player Pathway Award training camp in Sydney later this month.

Rigby and Duckworth will be among 24 players under the age of 21 who will be put through a series of on-field and off-field tests to vie for the award and a two-week trial with Sydney FC.

The judging panel includes former Socceroos Craig Foster, Ante Milicic and John Kosmina.

Coaches from all A-League clubs will also run their eyes over some of the most talented National Premier Leagues youngsters from around the country.

Rigby said it was a huge honour and privilege to attend the training camp.

"I just feel really humbled to get this opportunity and be able to compare and test myself against some really talented boys," Rigby said.

"I am also looking to see what I need to do in order to improve my game and get to that next level."

Rigby, 19, has captained Pride for the past two seasons from the base of midfield or central defence.

The selection of Duckworth comes after an excellent second season with Pride having topscored with 11 goals.

Duckworth, a former Ipswich Grammar School student, has also been selected for the NPL U23 Select side to play Brisbane Roar at QSAC on September 24.

Rigby said the selection of two Pride players for the training camp showed how the club offered a foot in the door for young footballers.

"If you're good enough you will get your chance to play and prove yourself in the Pride first team," Rigby said. "Pride will give you an opportunity that a lot of other clubs won't, really helping younger boys' development."

Rigby said while the training camp represented a huge opportunity he didn't lose site of the need to continually strive for improvement.

"The goal for me would be to play high level football but my aim right now is to play the best I can for Pride and see how things go," Rigby said.

Garry McKenzie

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