National nod for our soccer ace

Caitlin Pickett has been selected in the Under-19 Australian Schoolgirls football team. 159596

By Justin Flynn

OCEAN Grover Caitlin Pickett’s soccer talents are about to take her on a journey of a lifetime.
The 17-year-old Geelong Galaxy striker/winger, who started her career at the Surfside Waves, has been chosen in the Under-19 Australian Schoolgirls team to tour the UK and Ireland in January.
It’s the result of a lot of hard work from the Sacred Heart College Year 11 student, who has rapidly progressed from a bench player to a vital member of the starting side in the Galaxy’s inaugural season.
“It’s a massive jump and it was so great to play at such a good standard,” Pickett said.
“To even sit on the bench was a privilege but when I got to start, it was so good. I’d like to go all the way, but it’s a dream at this stage. I’d love to make the W-League.”
Pickett was chosen for the squad after impressing selectors in the Australian Schoolgirls Championships in Perth in August.
“At the end of it they announced the Aus team and my name was read out and I was stunned. My confidence is not that great. It’s something I’m working on and trying to improve on.”
She has a simple message for young women and girls in Ocean Grove.
“I’d like to get it out there and to show girls in Ocean Grove that it is possible if you work at it,” she said.
“It can be done. You’ve got to start somewhere. Go down to the Waves and have a go. I definitely recommend the club. Football is the best sport.”
Pickett got involved in indoor football at the age of nine, but didn’t enjoy it.
“It was so intimidating and I hated it – it was all boys and I was always the last picked,” she said.
“I did cross-country running for a while, but found it focussed too much on the individual and then I moved to outdoor soccer and I knew straight away that it was my sport.”
Pickett’s trip to the UK and Ireland depends on her ability to come up with $6900. The tour includes visits to English Premier League games and 10 games against local sides. She has a Go Fund Me page, which has raised just over $4500 so far. Go to