Claremont Meadows teenager Emily Dal Santo is hoping for a call-up to the Australian side that will contest the 2018 oztag world cup following her international debut earlier this year.
The team announcement is due to be made within the next few weeks for the competition, taking place in Coffs Harbour in November 2018.
Del Santo, 17, made her first appearance for Australia in the BIG4 Challenge Women’s U20 side that won all five of their matches against the Pacific Islands to take out the series in September, and hopes that performance caught the eye of world cup selectors.
“It was an awesome experience and a massive dream come true,” she told the Gazette. “It really was a goal I wanted to achieve.
“[The world cup team] will be released in the next couple of weeks, and my fingers are crossed I make it in.”
The Penrith Christian School student was named Penrith Valley Sports Foundation’s Senior Sports Star of the Month for October, and will fit her oztag training commitments around her Year 12 and Orchard Hills Rural Fire Brigade commitments.
“It’s a bit of a challenge trying to juggle everything, study and doing sport,” she said.
Dal Santo has played oztag since she was just 12 years old, representing Nepean Oztag as a junior in the state cup the same year and every year since.
She has played in the women’s U20s for state for the past two years, and has moved across to play in the mixed team for the state cup.
“With both boys and girls it’s rougher and faster,” she said.
In November last year she competed in the senior national competition that finished runners-up, and then gained selection in the Australian U20s women’s squad.
And the people to thank for her success were her parents, according to Del Santo.
“I want to say thank you to mum and dad for driving me to training,” she said. “I wouldn’t be achieving the goals without my mum and dad.”