Gearing up for a Pararoo debut
THERE'S a Coffs Harbour footballer with an eye on playing in the World Cup.
Not the one that is being played in Russia at the moment but the one the Pararoos are hoping to qualify for in Madrid next year.
Daniel Campbell has just been named as the youngest member of the Pararoos squad - the only national team for athletes with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries or stroke.
The Coffs Coast Tigers player is set to go to California next month to play in a pair of friendlies against the United States and Canada.
These matches will be the ideal preparation for the World Cup qualifiers to be played in November on the Persian Gulf island of Kish which is part of Iran.
The 15 year-old can't wait to pull on the green and gold jersey for the first time and readily admits what excites him the most about the upcoming matches.
"Going to a different country and getting game time and testing myself against the best players," he said.
Daniel lives with bilateral diplegia, a mild form of cerebral palsy which affects both legs.
Treatment over the years has included time with both legs in plaster casts as well as having bilateral Botox injected.
Daniel admits he's ceased treatment because it impacted too heavily on his ability the game he loves.
"The thing it affects is my balance, my jumping and my running," he said.
The defender/midfielder is currently playing with North Coast Football's under-16 NPL team which takes on the best players in age group in the Northern NSW region.
Daniel said being part of the NPL team played a major role in his selection, something he's thankful to NCF for.
"It's allowed me to continue improving my skills which has contributed to my selection," he said.
Now it's onwards and upwards towards playing for the national team and enjoying an overseas trip at the same time.
"It'll be really good for my experience and making myself a better player," he said.
"And the trip to a new place will be fun."