For the first, and probably the only time, Glen Innes soccer stars will barrack for England.
The local soccer association’s under 12 team will don the British strip for Inverell’s annual Mini World Cup.
The team’s coach Chris Wilson said for some of the side’s players, it is the biggest stage they have ever played on.
“They have been training together all year and stuff like that so they should go alright but it is tougher competition there too, we play teams from Toowoomba Grammar and Tamworth,” he said.
“Competition-wise, it's next level, it's just what they need to do to really push them.
I am not sure if it's for soccer or the school holidays but they're excited.Chris Wilson
“I am they step up and really start playing at that next level.
“They will get beaten in the first couple of games until they get used to it but I am hoping they will learn from that and just build towards the end of the week because then we have finals on Friday.”
Glen Innes hasn’t been represented at the carnival for a long period of time.
Wilson said his side a thrilled to be the town’s representative and are chomping at the bit.
“Glen has been before but it has been quite a few years since we have been,” he said.
“They're stoked, they're over the moon, they can't wait.
“I am not sure if it's for soccer or the school holidays but they're excited.
“They're really looking forward to it.”
The team have fundraised all year for the trip to Inverell and the community got behind them.
They raised more than they needed and the juniors decided to put the money back into the local association.
“We raised enough to get us over there with each parent just paying $50, which is $2,500 to get us over there, and we gave $1,800 back to the club with the excess we raised,” Wilson said.
“The club were stoked.
“It is going to a few nets and stuff for next year.”
This is the eighth year the Mini World Cup has been staged at Inverell.
“It’s not just about football but opening up opportunities,” organiser Heinrich Haussler said of the event, which started on Monday.
The founder and key organiser of the Joeys Mini World Cup has been preparing for the five-day competition ahead of an estimated 2000 people, including 500 players, arriving in Inverell.
“As a direct result of the Joeys Minis World Cup we have had over 30 players receiving scholarships from Toowoomba Grammar School,” Haussler said.
“We have connections all around the world and out kids have gone from the cup to professional teams in Norway, England, Germany, Spain, the USA and Brazil.”