Jardie Morris is only 15 but his ceiling is infinite with his football goals receiving the best possible assistance after he was named one of the recipients of the Northern NSW Football Talented Indigenous Scholarships.
The talented footballer will be one of eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholarship recipients with four talented player, one talented coach and three talented referee scholarships awarded, with recipients from the Hunter region and regional northern NSW across the three categories.
The scholarships were a Northern NSW Football initiative as part of its inaugural RTC Group Indigenous Round across its premier competitions in May in conjunction with National Reconciliation Week.
Sport is certainly something that runs in Jardie's blood after first picking up a football eight years ago.
"I love playing the game, I love team sports and just sport in general," he said.
The application process for Jardie involved a letter of recommendation from former Macleay Valley Rangers president Ashley Williams along with outlining his achievements and any school representative information.
Jardie's mother Jodie explained the process saw over 100 applications before being narrowed down to 50 and then the final list.
"We were all pretty happy, he's a talent player but there are still so many other talented players (applying)," she said.
Between school and working at night, Jardie's main focus is football and his ability should see him progress through to the Rangers senior ranks.
"I recently started training with the Coastal Premier League sides," he said.
"Hopefully it'll go pretty well, I think I can do it.
"The senior players have been really good, I'm still learning everyone's names."
Along with contributions towards club registrations and identification camp fees, the scholarship will help recipients represent Northern NSW Football at the 2022 National Youth Championships as well as costs associated with Talent Support Programs and the National Youth Championships.
The other recipients were:
Jardie isn't the only local recipient of the scholarship with Kempsey's Mahlia Hoskins and Gregory Kennedy successful in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Talented Referee Scholarship.
Northern NSW Football CEO David Eland said the scholarships, along with the inaugural RTC Group Indigenous Round, were the first steps towards connecting with the region's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.
"I am delighted that we have been able to award these inaugural eight scholarships," he said.
"These recipients will be role models for the next generation of Indigenous players, coaches and referees and will hopefully inspire others from their community.
"We want to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, coaches and referees 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.
"I congratulate Dylan, Mahlia, Cayne, Gregory, Violet, Kruze, Jardie and Lara on their scholarships and wish them all the very best for their future in football."
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