YOUNG GUNS: Sally Carroll is one of several youngsters making their mark on the Chinchilla Honeybears’ season.
YOUNG GUNS: Sally Carroll is one of several youngsters making their mark on the Chinchilla Honeybears’ season. Matthew Newton

Young blood fuels Honeybears

FOOTBALL: The Honeybears welcomed a lot of new faces to the squad this season, as well as seeing some of the younger players that have come through the youth system make their mark in the senior team.

First of the young brigade is Grace Fullerton. Grace, aged 17, was born in Portsmouth, England, and moved to Australia in March 2009. Grace moved to Chinchilla from Capalaba in October 2012.

“This is Grace’s first season playing soccer. As the season has gone on, it has been a pleasure to watch her improve her understanding of the game and make herself an essential part of the Honeybears. She is barely recognisable from the shy young lady that first turned up to training,” coach Tim Taylor said.

Next up is Claire Valler. Claire, aged 17, was born in Chinchilla and has played for the Chinchilla Bears since she was four. Claire worked her way through the junior ranks and finally made her Honeybears debut two seasons ago.

“This is Claire’s third season with the Honeybears and she is a vital part of our first team squad. I have watched Claire evolve into a superb player this season. We have changed where she plays on the field this year and she has gone forward in leaps and bounds. She has developed an excellent partnership with Rachael Dennison in our midfield and is one of the first names on my team sheet,” Taylor said.

Then we have Sally Carroll. Sally, aged 17, has lived in Chinchilla her entire life and has also came up through the junior ranks. Sally has trained with the Honeybears for the past six years, however due to age restraints, this is only Sally’s second full season.

“Sally at the start of the season was a player that struggled with a lack of confidence. We have adjusted her position on the field into a more advanced attacking role and she has been our player of the season so far. We knew as soon as she managed to score her first goal she wouldn’t look back. Now she has 16 goals in nine games and is playing some fantastic football,” Taylor said.

The Honeybears have also welcomed several older debutantes.

Makenzi Northdurft, aged 24, has lived in Chinchilla since the age of three. Makenzi has played social seven-a side soccer at the Chinchilla Bears Soccer Club on a Monday night for a few years, however this season is her first with the Honeybears’ senior side.

“I have monitored Makenzi in the local seven-a-side competition for the last two years. Thankfully I was able to convince her to play for the Honeybears this season. We lost a lot of players from last year and were struggling for defenders. Makenzi has come in and worked unbelievably hard on her game. She is a very solid right fullback and is improving with every game. She has cemented her spot in the first team, which is very impressive for someone that is still learning the game,” Taylor said.

Lastly, Joha Zambrano, aged 30, moved to Australia from Venezuela in 2013. Joha moved to Chinchilla from Adelaide 10 months ago and is playing soccer for the first time this season.

Taylor said Joha managed to put a smile on everyone’s face every time she played and trained. “There are no words to describe how much she has improved this season. When she first came to training she could barely kick a ball. Now I have full confidence in her ability on the field. What she lacks in experience she makes up for with her determination to improve. She is now a vital part of our squad and is only getting better as the season evolves. I really hope she continues next season as I would love to see how good she could get,” he said.