Northern NSW Football has announced the recipients of its 2023-2024 NNSWF Talented Indigenous Scholarships.
The scholarships are designed to reduce barriers by supporting and increasing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players from across northern NSW in the player development pathway.
Kalani Ryan and Hallei McGregor were awarded the female player scholarships, while Nash Syron and Archie Kellett received the male player scholarships.
Ryan will be playing for Adamstown Rosebud in 2024 after two successful seasons at Newcastle Olympic winning the major and minor premierships in 2022 and 2023. She was selected to play at the 2023 National Youth Championships in the Invitational IV Indigenous team as well as the Newcastle All Stars team in the NSW First Nations Football Festival. Ryan travels more than 12 hours a week from the Mid North Coast to Newcastle for training and games.
McGregor is a part of the Maitland FC set up and was captain of the under-14s side in the 2023 NAIDOC Cup. She takes pride in being a leader within her team and her community and has the goal to play football professionally when she is older.
Syron plays for Newcastle Olympic and is a part of the Hunter TSP program. He lives in the Mid North Coast and travels an hour to school before traveling over two hours to train up to three days a week. Syron has played in the 2022 and 2023 NAIDOC Cup as well as the Nations of Origin for the Newcastle All Stars.
Kellett is a part of the Lambton Jaffas Youth Premier League side as well as being involved in the Hunter TSP Program since 2022. He was a part of the NNSW under-14s side at the 2023 NAIDOC Cup and the Newcastle Indigenous All Stars at the Indigenous Football Festival in Nowra.
NNSWF Female Participation and Inclusion Officer Natalie Boyd said the purpose of the NNSWF Talented Indigenous Scholarships was to help Indigenous players progress their football journey.
“These recipients will be role models for the next generation of Indigenous players and will hopefully inspire others from their community,” Boyd said.
“We want to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players across football while creating more opportunities for them to engage in professional development and this is a chance to identify and showcase the next generation who have the potential to achieve at the highest levels of the game.
“Congratulations to the recipients we wish them all the best for their future in football.”