By: Annie Huang
On August 1st, 2022, after catching the eye of English Premier League Academy scouts, one Sydney girl will fly to the UK to show off her football skills on the world stage.
Scouts from Manchester United and Manchester City watched 10-year-old Michaela Togias at the Global Football Network showcase in Sydney in April, where players ages 10-19 came together to flaunt their skills in hopes of being offered a sporting scholarship. The showcase involved seven hours of training over two days.
Out of the 60 girls at the showcase, the team was impressed by Togia’s abilities and chose her to fly to the UK to show off her football skills.
In an interview, Togias told reporters, “there were 60 girls at the showcase and I was a little nervous because I was the youngest and smallest there, but I just gave it my all and had fun. At the end of the showcase the scouts asked to speak to my mum and told her that I have what it takes to play in the UK. Hearing that from them put a big smile on my face.”
Togias will now travel to Manchester in January to take part in this tournament where she will play against some of the largest clubs, putting all her hard work and dedication to the sport.
“To think that in a few months’ time I’ll be playing in the UK is like a dream come true. I hope to one day make my country proud, just like Sam Kerr and Ellie Carpenter. I have great coaches who push me to play at my best; I train hard every day and put my all into every training session and game.” Togias said.
With the FIFA Women’s World Cup happening in 2023 and women’s football growing in popularity and participation around the world, Togias said she was excited to see what the future holds for her and the sport. She added that she was so grateful for the support from her family and friends, showcase organizers from Global Football Network showcase, her coaches at Macarthur Rams, her sprint coach, Australian Olympian Hayley Butler, and Director of Global Football Network showcase Manchester UK: John Pladas who said she was outstanding over the two days of the showcase.
John Pladas told reporters, “Michaela took in all the information provided by our EPL scouts Andy and Luke and although she was one of the youngest trialists, her maturity, attitude and ability certainly stood out. I am looking forward to having Michaela over in Manchester in January working with our coaches, playing many games against some of the best players and experience what pro-players experience during her stay. Her selection for the scholarship is well earned and deserved.”
Her sprint coach and Australian Olympian Hayley Butler said she had no doubt that this was just the beginning of an incredible career for Michaela. “She always gives 100 per cent effort during our speed sessions and at such a young age demonstrates so much talent and determination,”