Italy beckons for young Futsal star Travis Gapes

Travis Gapes can’t contain his excitement.

The soccer and Futsal-mad teen from Winmalee has been selected to compete in two international tournaments.

Travis, aged 15, has made the Australian under 16s squad which will tour Italy for the Monte Silvano Futsal Cup in June.

Games will be held in Rome, Florence and Pisa. In last year’s tournament 12 countries were represented.

“I’m looking forward to playing European teams and how we go against them and seeing which countries are good,” Travis said.

There’ll also be time for some sightseeing, a novelty for Travis who’s never been to Italy before, and he’s hoping to catch a game featuring his favourite Italian soccer team Juventus.

Travis first embraced Futsal four years ago when some mates asked him to join a social competition in Blaxland on Friday nights. He didn’t take long to find his feet, and for the past three years has represented NSW City West at the National Futsal Championships.

“It’s the sport I love, I’m the right height and stamina for it,” the Winmalee High School student said.

“You can play whenever you want; rain, hail or shine. 

“I like it just a bit better than soccer.”

Travis joined Springwood Football Club at age five, before moving into the representative ranks, playing for Mount Druitt Town Rangers for several years.

His idol is Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, who plays on the wing or attacking midfielder, the same position as Travis. 

Following a strong performance in a national Futsal tournament in Sydney last week where he played pivot for NSW City West, Travis has also made an Australian under 16s squad which will compete in the Costa Brava Cup in Spain in July.