03 Aug 2023

FISCA is a unique, fun, and exciting way to improve your football skills, and win amazing prizes. Just by showcasing your talents to the watching World however, you can help to push one of the competitions charitable objectives, including to improve Indigenous outcomes.

For many playing football is something we all take for granted. Opportunities for progression, depending on your talent and ability, are there and can be accessed should they be required. This isn’t the case for many of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent though as young Aiden Kelly can testify.

“When it comes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people progressing their football careers I can only speak from my perspective, but for me it is a lack of opportunity,” Kelly revealed. “In Canberra, at the current age group, there is no opportunity to acquire further skills outside of the standard competition, the camps and academies that are being offered.

“All are based externally and cost a lot of money. I did try out for Nationals only to find out it was for under 12’s as well. If we were only given the opportunity to compete against others of the same age that is still an opportunity I would gladly accept and compete in to gauge my skill and grow as a player.”

Aiden has been given the chance to show his football talent as part of a trip overseas, coming off the back of a birthday gift of a week in Sydney taking part in a Barcelona Holiday camp

“During the camp in Sydney, I trained every day with a large group of kids from a variety of locations around NSW/ACT and coaching staff who travelled all the way from Barcelona to Australia for the camp, with the intention of scouting potential talent for two separate opportunities,” Kelly said.

“The first to go and train at the academy in Barcelona and the other to represent Barca Australia in the Asia Pacific World Cup. The selection process was also being decided from the other two sites in Melbourne and Adelaide which were also run at different times.

“For me and my family to afford to send me on this further opportunity to Nara, Japan they have been undertaking numerous different fundraising activities to raise the money. They have worked with Capital Football who will also launch a fundraising platform FISCA which will help with the fundraising.

“I do not think it would be possible for myself or my family to afford opportunities like this without the support of the community or people in the local area who believe in me. There are many programs developed for children aged 12 and over but not for 10-year-olds.”

Kelly’s journey will no doubt take many twists and turns along the way, but for the youngsters the dreams and aspirations of where the sport might take him have no limits. It’s a chance for him to follow in the footsteps of those role models who have gone before.

“A big role model on my football journey is Harry Williams and his story of being one of the only players to go the FIFA World Cup for the Socceroos in 1974,” Kelly said. “It is through that inspiration that drove me to want to be the next Indigenous player to hold up the FIFA World Cup and bring it back to Australia.

“I am also looking forward to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and seeing the talent in the Matildas such as local legend Lydia Williams.”