FUTSAL star Finn McLoughlin bid his family “addio” to embark on his latest overseas adventure.
The 16-year-old is bound for Italy this month after being chosen in the Australian under-16 schoolboys’ team.
The Muswellbrook teenager impressed selectors at the national championships, in Brisbane in October, even though his side, Northern New South Wales, missed the play-offs.
“I was extremely happy to get picked,” McLoughlin admitted.
“Touring Italy will be a great experience.
“In the past two seasons, I’ve travelled to tournaments in Greece and the United States.
“But, I’m looking forward to this trip.
“We’re over there for 18 or 19 days, visiting places like Rome, Florence and Naples.
“There’ll be plenty of time to go sightseeing, too.
“I can’t wait to see the Colosseum, Palatino, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Piazza del Miracoli, Pompeii, Civita and Viterbo while we’re heading to Vatican City on the last day.
“I’m also keen to sample the local cuisine.”
In between all of that fun, McLoughlin will face a number of opposition outfits in the futsal arena.
“We’re playing against the Marconi Academy and Capitolina in Rome, as well as teams from Florence and Naples,” he said.
“The best part about it [the tour] is working with the Italian coaches.
“It will be great to learn from them.”
His Australian selection also puts the St Joseph’s High School Aberdeen student one step closer to another personal objective – next year’s under-17 World Cup.
“I would love to be involved in that event,” McLoughlin said.
“It’s my goal to play professional futsal, possibly in a high-profile overseas competition.
“It’d be good to do that [as a career].”