Living the dream
18-YEAR-OLD rugby league player Layla Fauid is putting the final touches on her preparations ahead of fulfilling one of her rugby league dreams - representing a Queensland indigenous team in New Zealand.
The talented Brothers forward nicknamed 'Wrecking Ball' has had a fantastic year in the Bundaberg Rugby League women's competition and the representative honours are the icing on the cake for her 2015 season.
Last month, Brothers made the grand final but were defeated by Calliope 26-22 in a thrilling encounter.
As anyone involved in sport knows, it can be an expensive endeavour to play competitively at any level.
Fauid's family and friends set up a GoFundMe page earlier this month to help her get to New Zealand.
Fauid's sister Crystal Pukallis said - thanks to the overwhelming support of family, friends and the rugby league community - Fauid would be heading to New Zealand on Wednesday.
"It cost us $400 to get her passport done quickly," Pukallis said.
"We obviously had to pay for her fares there and back again."
"The Brothers club has come in and helped out too."
Pukallis said the Highlanders Central Queensland team, whom Fauid has played with in Brisbane recently, also contributed.
Brothers women's team coach Glen Darby was full of praise for the Poruma native and could not wait to work with her again in 2016.
"She came through the junior ranks," he said.
"This year because she was under 18 she had to commit to the under-18s as well as the women's division."
Darby said Fauid was an impressive player and her passion at games and training was infectious.
"She's got great ball skills for a young kid and she will grow in confidence with the international experience," he said.
"She is very family orientated and this will be the pinnacle of her career so far.
"I just look at her and I can tell she's a footballer."