Mountains of football talent

Young football talent: (back) Alyssa Janssen, Richard Stewart, (front) Cayden Henderson and Owen Henderson.
Young football talent: (back) Alyssa Janssen, Richard Stewart, (front) Cayden Henderson and Owen Henderson.

Football talent is alive and well in the Blue Mountains.

Goalkeeper Cayden Henderson, 12, from Faulconbridge Public and his cousin Owen Henderson, 12, a midfielder from Glenbrook Public, were the only two Blue Mountains primary school students to be selected on the Sydney West football team, featuring students from Mt Victoria to Parramatta.

The boys represented the Sydney West area at the NSW Primary School Sports Association State Football Carnival at Inverell in August, playing against NSW’s best public and private school students. Sydney West won the final against Hunter 1-0.

“Cayden made several outstanding game-saving saves to keep Sydney West in the game,” said Sydney West coach Peter Henderson.

At the end of the carnival the NSW PSSA State Team was selected and Cayden was chosen as the NSW reserve goalkeeper. He will be on standby to compete in the Pacific School Games in Adelaide in December and his training will increase over the next three months in preparation.

Meanwhile, Alyssa Janssen, 17, from Blaxland High School was also selected in the high school girls Sydney West team, playing in the state carnival in June. Sydney West won the final 1-0 against Sydney North.

“Alyssa played extremely well over the three days scoring some excellent goals and was an integral part of the Sydney West team,” Mr Henderson said. 

Alyssa, who lives in Cranebrook and is a winger/striker, was selected as a shadow player for the NSW team.

Mason Ingram, 17, and Richard Stewart, 18, from Blaxland High were also selected in the high school boys Sydney West team, winning the state carnival in May. Sydney West beat Sydney South West 2-1 in the final.