Camden Haven's Emilee Franklin to compete in FIFA Fiji Cup, November 30 to December 7

Eye on the prize: Camden Haven High School's Emilee Franklin plans to build on her self belief during the FIFA Fiji Cup competition which gets underway on November 30.
Eye on the prize: Camden Haven High School's Emilee Franklin plans to build on her self belief during the FIFA Fiji Cup competition which gets underway on November 30.

She may be the youngest player in the WPL U14s football competition but that isn't stopping Emilee Franklin from dreaming big.

The 12-year-old will fly to Fiji at the end of the month with her regional NSW teammates to compete in the FIFA Fiji Cup.

The week-long competition will see the team play a competitive game each day.

Franklin is doing "the extras" at training in preparation for the tournament and is also cautiously considering her next step toward an ultimate career in the sport.

"The regional NSW side is a composite team made up of players from around the state," said the rising young football player.

"The Fiji Cup competition starts on November 30. I am looking forward to the challenges of playing a game each day and also taking on some (probably) taller and bigger players.

"My fitness will be okay, because I am doing some one on one training with Port Macquarie-based coach Brenton Doyle, who is also my WPL coach.

"We are expecting it to be pretty hot in Fiji and we will also have to get used to the high humidity too."

Franklin is a left winger, despite being naturally right footed, and will be looking to impress keen judges during the tour.

Despite being the only U11 player selected in the WPL for the 2019 competition, Franklin says she is happy to have made the choice of representative football over club football.

WPL players are unable to play both levels of the sport.

By choosing representative football you have more options available to you especially if you are looking toward a career down the track.

Emilee Franklin

"By choosing representative football you have more options available to you especially if you are looking toward a career down the track," she said.

"When I got selected (in the WPL side) I was only 11 years old and it was kinda scary at first playing a few years above my age but it is like second nature for me now.

"Because I've got a good coach (in Doyle), good teammates and I do the extras at training, I think I am fitting in pretty well."

From a sporting family, Franklin says she takes after her dad for football sense but has her mum's speed.

Another positive outcome of the recent decision by the FFA to allocate equal pay between the Socceroos and the Matildas is that players like Franklin can now seriously consider the sport as a career path either nationally or internationally.

While the opportunities will continue to open up, Franklin understands she needs a few things to fall her way to realise her ambition.

"I feel I could make a career out of football," she says.

"But I don't really believe in myself as much as I should or as much as some other people believe in me.

"I reckon I could make a career if I set my mind to it."

The Camden Haven High School student says the Fiji experience will help build her self belief and acknowledged it was part of being a successful sports person.

"Brenton, my teachers and my parents talk a lot to me about mental strength and having that self belief," she said.

"I understand that it is a major factor.

"Building my self confidence is something I will build on and this trip will definitely help me."

Franklin says she will continue with her one on one training with Doyle right up to leaving for Fiji.

The WPL U14 side won their domestic competition before claiming the state title in Coffs Harbour.

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