MIRANDA Templeman has gone from goalkeeping hopeful to the best in Australia in less than a year.
The All Saints College student earned high praise from Socceroos goalkeeper coach Tony Franken after her assured showing for the WA State Under 13 team at the recent Westfield National Youth Championships in Coffs Harbour.
After assessing performances during the week-long tournament, Franken selected the WA custodian as the Under 13 Goalkeeper of the Championships.
“She’s still very young but this gives us our first indications of some of the qualities she has as a goalkeeper,” said Franken, who has worked extensively with Australian internationals such as Mark Schwarzer, Adam Federici and Matt Ryan.
“From what I saw, I want to keep my eye on her because she’s very athletic, she makes saves and she’s got a winning mentality.”
Templeman, who spent most of her junior years with Melville City, will be invited to a Football Federation Australia Goalkeeper Development camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in October.
“There’s still a long, long way to go,” Franken said.
“But I’ve seen her in games and the camp will give me a better indication of what she’s like technically because I’ll see her in the training environment.”
Mum Deborah has been surprised by the speed with which her daughter has adapted, given her switch from striker to goalkeeper came suddenly before WA School Girls trials last year.
“There were only five goalkeepers trying out and there were a lot more strikers, so she just said ‘I’ll be a goalkeeper,’” she said.
“She’s been playing in a full-sized goal for less than a year. She’s progressed very quickly and we’re really proud of her.”
Dad Nic said his daughter lived for the game, training as an associate in Football West’s National Training Centre, as well as with Rockingham City and in private coaching sessions.
“She wakes up and watches football on whatever channel,” Nic said.
“In her room she’s got shirts and photos of different players.
“On one wall she’s got (Spain goalkeeper) Iker Casillas and (Argentina’s Lionel) Messi and a whole lot of inspirational quotes she’s gathered that she’s written down.”
Her rise has been so rapid that one of the quotes highlighted in her Brentwood home hardly applies to a teenager barely 12 months into goalkeeping.
The quote, from former United States star Mia Hamm, reads: “Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you, is a little girl, who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her.”