Young footballer puts in the hours
Elizabeth Anton is making the most of her winter days. The young Lynn Avon footballer talks with Julian Raethel about her busy schedule onand-off the pitch.
Among the long hours of training and matches, Elizabeth Anton is trying to find time to tune into the Fifa World Cup.
But it’s going to be a busy few weeks for the New Zealand Under-17s player.
‘‘I don’t really know who I want to see win, Brazil or Argentina I guess,’’ she says.
‘‘But I really like my sleep too, so watching games might be hard.’’
While juggling school and a budding football career, the Lynn Avon United defender/ centre midfielder says football is all she’s ever known since starting at Western Springs AFC during intermediate school.
Elizabeth moved further west to Lynn Avon two years ago which has provided a good platform for younger female players.
‘‘I was 13 and I joined the boys team with two other girls. They would actually pass the ball to us which was good.’’
Things have accelerated since then. Elizabeth now owns 10 pairs of football boots, just to keep up with the hours she puts in.
The 15-year-old has earned eight caps with the Junior Football Ferns and is the youngest player in the squad.
She played in the Fifa Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica earlier this year, where New Zealand grabbed a sole point from their draw with Paraguay during pool play.
‘‘It was really cool playing in a different environment.
‘‘I saw a lot of poverty but playing football there was definitely a highlight.’’
Elizabeth is also in the wider national Under-20s training squad. She has played once for the team during the Oceania qualifiers earlier this year.
‘‘Just to be able to train with them allows me to learn more about game tactics and how they relate to your position on the field,’’ she says.
Kicking on: Elizabeth Anton is proving age doesn’t matter on the football field.