Mel's a star on the rise

MELISSA Norup’s aspirations to play for the Matildas, like her hero Ellyse Perry, might well come true if she keeps playing football the way she is.

Norup will soon pack her bags and head to South America to tour with the Australian Schoolgirls team in January, after impressing during the selection trial in Townsville in August.

She didn’t make the original team, after being hampered with a quadricep injury during the trials.

Norup did the injury the week before the trials, while playing for the Football Mid-North Coast in the Women’s Premier League competition. She played the first match of the trials, but that did more harm than good, and after five minutes of the second game Norup was struggling.

“It was starting to feel better, so I decided to go,” she said.

The centre-forward didn’t return until the final match.

“It was really heavily strapped,” she said. “And after that I couldn’t walk.”

But when a team member pulled out, Norup got the call-up. She said she was excited to be pulling on the green and gold.

“I was very surprised when I got the phone call,” she said. I didn’t know what was going on at first. I was in shock.”

And just like Perry, Norup is also a competent cricketer, though she won’t contest the national titles for that sport.

“They’re on the same time we’re in Brazil,” she said.

Norup uses cricket as valuable off-season training for football, but training for that sport is just getting underway again.

“And they give us fitness stuff for that,” she said. We have a gym in the garage too.”

She hopes her team can do better than last year’s campaign. FMNC lost in the semis.

“I think it was 4-1,” Norup said. It might have been 4-2.”

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