JOHN Moriarty has played a big part in Shadeene “Shay” Evans’ soccer journey to date, so it was only fitting he was there to see the Borroloola product debut for the Young Matildas last Friday.
The 16-year-old became the first player from the remote Territory town to represent Australia since Moriarty 55 years ago, when she came off the bench in her side’s 2-1 victory over Thailand’s under-19 side at Leichhardt Oval.
“Yes, it was fantastic,” the first indigenous Socceroo said of seeing Evans in the green and gold.
“She has developed since coming from Borroloola and loves going back, but she also loves Sydney, where she pursues her career both with football and education.”
Evans has been part of the elite soccer program at Westfield Sports High since August 2015, having made the 3000km move to Sydney after winning the inaugural John Moriarty Football scholarship.
But it was a JMF trip to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil that Moriarty believes first inspired the striker to strive towards a soccer dream.
“That really spurred her on to develop her football,” Moriarty said.
“That trip to Brazil made a huge impact on her and she’s moved on quite quickly. But she’s very low key as an individual; she’s going to her school and is doing extremely well at maths. She’s developing extraordinarily quickly in both education and football.”
Moriarty said Evans had the traits of a potent striker, but also worked extremely hard defensively.
“She’s very much a team player, but very much a striker. She can strike the ball very well and is improving that side of her game quickly as each game goes by.
“We follow her progress day by day, trip by trip and she’s loving it. We have strong aspirations for her, she’s doing very well at the moment.”
Original article from NT News