At 18 years of age, Inverell’s Riley Schutz is on a football tour of a lifetime, after being selected at the Inverell Joeys Mini World Cup Tournament last year to join the All-Star squad on their German adventure.
Riley began playing soccer when he was seven years old and as he grew older, he found he had a real knack for the game.
“My parents let me play a lot of sport but as I got older, they said I needed to choose one and I felt I was good at soccer for I stayed with that,” Riley said.
“I never thought I’d be playing soccer in Germany, but here I am.”
The All-Star team in chosen the year prior at the Inverell Joeys Mini World Cup, and Riley was lucky enough to make the cut.
The German Tour is designed to test our playing and coaching talent while connecting with new knowledge and expertise in training techniques and modern practices.
The tour includes 59 players and coaching staff, across four teams; the under 16’s, under 18’s, under 20’s and the women’s team taking part in 29 days of training and competition games, guaranteed to put their skills to the test.
Speaking with the New England Times from Germany, Riley said it’s a hard feat on the field.
“The competition over here is really good, very intense, but it’s only making us better.”
Founder of the Inverell Joeys Mini World Cup and Inverell local, Heinrich Haussler, is on the ground with the Aussies overseas and enjoying every moment of watching his teams compete.
“This competition tour selects the best from the previous year’s Inverell Joeys Mini World Cup, and as we haven’t come for a few years due to COVID and other reasons, we have a mixed variety of players over a few years, but they are doing well together and starting to play some good football.” said Heinrich.
“Our teams have had some wins, and some loses, but we still have a few games to go.”
“Four of our players in our older teams have been selected to stay on and play in Germany after this, which is a great opportunity for them, and the tour isn’t over yet so we could see some more get signed up,” Riley said.
And while football is the main event of the tour, the teams enjoy some cultural and educational experience of another country. Players and coaches are encouraged to embrace the German culture and create long-lasting friendships.
“You come all this way, you want to take it all in and playing the sport you love is just adds to it.”
The tour will wrap up early July as the teams make their journey home.
Like what you’re reading? Support the New England Times to keep providing hyper-local news, for the New England and by the New England, pay wall free. Make a small contribution today.