National tournament keeps Elli on radar for higher honours
WESTERN Pride's goalkeeping program has received a major boost with Elli Chapple appearing in a national tournament in front of FFA technical staff.
Chapple has been playing for Queensland at the National Training Centre Challenge at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
Pride's under 17 custodian has kept clean sheets during draws against Northern NSW and NSW. She saved a penalty as Queensland defeated ACT 2-1.
Senior women's coach Belinda Kitching said Chapple's strength and shot-stopping ability were some of the attributes which had put her the radar for NTC selection.
"Elli has been our busiest player this year,” Kitching said.
"Last term she was playing at Pride, the NTC and in schoolgirls' squad.
"We've recognised this is too much for a young player, but it didn't stop Elli improving.”
Chapple's selection is the most recent success of Pride's female goalkeeping program.
Pride's under 15 keeper Lateisha Wilkins represented Queensland at the FFA Girls National Championships earlier this month. Senior women's keeper Veeren has received a two-week trial with Brisbane Roar's W-League squad.
As a former Matilda, Kitching knows how trials and representative football can improve a young player's career.
"Playing and being exposed to new and experienced coaches helped me listen and learn quite quickly as a player,” Kitching said.
"Being given the correct feedback and dealing with disappointments helped my career to achieve what I did.
"Being a goalkeeper myself I relate 100% to what Elli, Lateisha and Kirsten are going through because it happened to me as a player.”