Caloundra's Rhys Williams, Luca Holder and Luca Skoullos were selected in next year's U13 Brisbane Roar NPL Academy program. Picture: Megan Gill Photography Picture: Megan Gill Photography
Caloundra's Rhys Williams, Luca Holder and Luca Skoullos were selected in next year's U13 Brisbane Roar NPL Academy program. Picture: Megan Gill Photography Picture: Megan Gill Photography

Coast boys on path to football stardom

Caloundra is proving to be a top quality hub for rising football stars with a trio of players earning selection into a major state academy.

Caloundra’s Under-12 Skills Acquisition Program side were recently invited to participate in the Brisbane Roar trial process.

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After playing three games, five players were selected to progress into the final stage of trials with three of the bunch ultimately earning spots in the next year’s U13 Roar NPL Academy program.

Those selected were Rhys Williams, Luca Skoullos and Luca Holder.

Caloundra’s Skills Acquisition Program director Rui Spinola said he was ecstatic with the entire squad’s efforts.

“Everyone thought that the Caloundra SAP side was the standout team in the trial process,” Spinola said.

Caloundra's U12 SAP coach Mackenzie Smith with players Rhys Williams, Luca Holder, Luca Skoullos and SAP director Rui Spinola. Picture: Megan Gill Photography
Caloundra's U12 SAP coach Mackenzie Smith with players Rhys Williams, Luca Holder, Luca Skoullos and SAP director Rui Spinola. Picture: Megan Gill Photography

“For a small community club up on the Sunny Coast to have that kind of success on a broader level as a team and individually with those players identified was a great achievement.

“The three players that got selected, and deservedly so, are extremely talented and from the feedback I got from Brisbane Roar they were real standouts.”

Rhys Williams’ dad, Andy, said he was proud of his son’s efforts.

“You want your children to do well in every sport that they do but he works really hard at what he does,” he said.

“I actually woke him up with the phone in his face showing him the (selection) email and his eyes nearly popped out his head and he had to read it twice because he thought he was dreaming it.”

The Meridan State School 12-year-old was pumped to have a chance to test himself in the Roar Academy.

“It feels really good and I’m happy,” he said.

“It’s exciting and I’m excited to see what happens in the future.”

Along with the Roar trio, Caloundra also boast another rising star in Will Whitehouse who was selected to train and be assessed at the West Ham Academy in London early this year.