PFA award for Mitch
YOUNG Bundaberg sports stars excelled to the highest level across many sports in 2010 but Mitchell Langerak shone brightest.
The sky is the limit for the former Across The Waves goalkeeper after he received the PFA Harry Kewell Medal for Australia’s best under-23 player at the Football Australia Awards in October.
Langerak helped Melbourne Victory to the A-League grand final before joining German powerhouses Borussia Dortmund.
The grand final also provided a proud moment for Football Bundaberg as the other ’keeper in the match, Sydney FC’s Clint Bolton, who notched his third NSL/A-League premiership, is also a local product.
Still in football, Bundaberg’s Josh Brillante made his A-League debut for Gold Coast United at the age of 17 earlier this month.
Twenty-one-year-old Tom Edgar continued to stand tall for Volleyball Team Australia, taking his number of caps to 33 and being an integral part of the team which placed fifth in the Asian Cup in Iran and also competed well at the World Championships in Italy.
Australian netball under-21 squad member and shooting star Amelia Wells took another giant step in her career when she was named in the Queensland Firebirds squad for the 2011 season.
The multi-talented Sam Daff could also be destined for greatness in softball after captaining the Australia under-19 team to success in a Test series against New Zealand.
Lyam McKay also represented Australia with distinction in the series.
Joel Latham could follow in the footsteps of Bundaberg’s former Australian men’s hockey star Troy Elder after again excelling for the Australian under-16 boys team on their tour of Hong Kong and China in June.
Another dynamic all-rounder Taryn Gollshewsky added to her long list of Australian discus titles and also mixed it with the best at the World Junior Athletics Championships in Canada.
Although the 17-year-old threw below her best there, the Womensport Queensland Rising Star award for athletics recipient has her sights set on the next junior world titles in 2012.
Rheed McCracken again swept all before him in track and field AWD (Athletes With a Disability) events including Australian and Queensland titles, and he appears on track to achieve his Paralympic dreams.
Bundaberg had an impressive list of Queensland junior champions and state representatives, but one who deserves special mention is Rebecca Greiner, who achieved national gold medals in hockey and track and field, and minor medals in cross-country.
Kyle Rethamel finished the year by becoming Bundaberg’s first state junior swimming champion for several years, and he also is a dynamo in surf life saving.
Riley McGregor, who won a few national surf life saving championships during his junior career, is another who deserves mention after he again signalled that he could be the next big thing in ironman with his brilliant victory in the under-19 division of the Junior Coolangatta Gold.