Zak Huntingdon has had his feet planted firmly on a football field ever since he could walk. So, it's no surprise the 17-year-old has his sights set on forging a path in the football world as a career. Zak was chosen to represent the Sunshine Coast at the Queensland School Sport Football State Championships (17-19 years Boys) at the Highfield Sports Complex in Toowoomba from May 13-16.
Although they didn't quite hit the mark in the winning stakes after 4 days of tough competition, the Sunshine Coast side secured the runners up spot. Along with being named team captain, Zak was awarded with Player of the Tournament, Coaches Player and was even named in the Queensland Soccer team.
Despite the final result not quite swinging in their favour, Zak has spoken very highly of his teammates and their achievements.
“It was an absolute honour to be chosen as captain of the team," he says. “I couldn't have been prouder of the boys and how they played from start to finish of every game throughout the competition and going undefeated until the final.
“It was a shame about losing the final on penalties but to get there nevertheless is a massive achievement and we were all very happy."
For most players, just being a part of the competition is an achievement in itself. But for Zak, adding Player of the Tournament, the Coaches Player and an extra bonus of being named in the Queensland Soccer team was a lot more than he expected from one tournament.
“Being named Coaches Player for my team again was a very prestigious award and I was honoured to receive it," he says. “To be named Player of the Tournament is the biggest achievement at the competition and I was thrilled to receive the award along with being named in the Queensland team.
“The Player of the Tournament was awarded to me with the Bob Stopford trophy where my name will be inscribed on the trophy plaque with the past winners. It's quite an honour to be listed in such great company."
Zak first ventured onto the football field from pretty much the minute he was able to balance on two feet and he's never looked back. With selection in the Queensland soccer team now locked in, Zak is looking forward to a bright future in the sport.
“I have been playing football for a long time now and I've always loved it and pushed to make it a career," he says. “Being chosen for the Queensland team is an honour and something I've been striving towards over the past year. My family have all expressed their joy and happiness and are proud of what I've achieved. I can't wait to see what happens next."