A host of young local players are braving the freezing morning temperatures in Canberra to take part in Australia’s largest international youth football tournament.
The Kanga Cup takes place over a week in Australia’s capital and two teams from the Eschol Park Wolves are battling it out to reach the grand final.
Eschol Park has sent an under-9s and an under-11s team to the tournament this year.
It is the third consecutive year the under-11s have taken part in the tournament and it is the debut year for the under-9s.
Parent Linda Toy said there was a great feeling of excitement among the teams.
“Everyone is having a great time and they’re all trying their hardest,” she said.
“They are super excited to be here.
“There are something like 6000 kids here, from all over Australia and beyond, so it’s pretty hectic.”
The Wolves played their first games on Monday.
The under-11s were lucky enough to come away with a win, but the under-9s just missed out.
“The under-9s were playing an Academy team, though, so it was hard for them,” Toy said.
“They were tough opposition.”
Sixteen families make up the Wolves team this year, with many parents and siblings making the trip down to Canberra for the week-long tournament.
Toy said a big Eschol Park family dinner was planned during the Kanga Cup.
“There will be about 60 of us all together,” she said.
“The kids have already done a few activities, including a visit to Questacon and a trip to the movies.”
Toy said there were several siblings in the squad.
She said the younger siblings had seen their older brothers and sisters have fun at the tournament in previous years and were thrilled to be joining them for the 2018 Kanga Cup.
The Wolves will play six games overall, finishing on Thursday, unless they make it to the grand final.
“This tournament showcases some great young footballing talent from both domestic and international teams,” Toy said.