GEORGIA Allen received the surprise of her young life when the Coffs Harbour schoolgirl received a trip to English Premier League giants Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton live on air on New England North West ABC Radio yesterday morning.
Allen, a Year 10 student at Coffs Harbour’s Christian Community School, had played for Tamworth in the recent McDonald’s Mini World Cup in Inverell.
At that tournament, five young players were awarded footballing trips to English Premier League clubs.
While the other four were announced in Inverell, organisers couldn’t find Allen as her Tamworth side had left a day early.
Former Socceroo manager Rale Rasic had rated Allenthe best female goalkeeper at the tournament but organiser Heinrich Haussler said attempts to track her down had initially been fruitless.
So he conjured up a presentation of some Mark Schwarzer goalkeeper gloves to Allen on the ABC Radio program as a cover to the real purpose of his visit.
“Georgia was outstanding in Inverell,” Haussler said.
“Rale had judged her to be the best up there but her team left early.
“We decided she didn’t have any option but to leave with them.
“She was brilliant up there – daylight to the next keeper.”
He said not only will she visit the four EPL clubs and meet goalkeeping coaches there but she will also visit the giant Spanish club Barcelona .
So what was Allen’s reaction?
“It’s awesome,” she said after overcoming the initial shock.
“I’ve always wanted to meet Mark Schwarzer.”
She said going to the Inverell tournament was “just a bit of fun”.
She’d never been to Inverell and “never knew it existed”.
Now she does.
“I went up there not expecting anything,” she said.
“It was just a random town. We had a lot of fun.
“The standard was good too.”
Haussler is also hoping the young goalkeeper might join his Joeys FC touring team for its trip to Germany in June next year.
He also has Bundesliga team Bardenbach coming out to train at Inverell and the Copeton Dam complex in a few weeks.
That, too, will be an enormous coup for the Sapphire City which benefited financially from the recent Mini World Cup.