Kingborough Lion Keenan Douce is one of the lucky candidates under consideration by Football Tasmania for the final squad of 22 players that will face off against the Central Coast Mariners at the Darcy Street pre-season game on September 8.
The Mariners will be in the state for four days and will play two pre-season trial matches in preparation for the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season.
Kingborough Lions United Football Club (KLUFC) have congratulated Mr Douce on this impressive achievement.
KLUFC President, Warren Iles was generous with his praise upon hearing of the selection.
“It's a great reward for the dedication Keenan has shown to his football this season.
“Since joining the club he has demonstrated great leadership on and off the pitch and it’s great to see his effort and ability being recognised.”
Football Tasmania Technical Director Michael Edwards says that he is excited by the opportunity this will give the young players, putting some of the best in the country up against the best in Tasmania.
NPL coaches Ken Morton, David Smith and Rick Coghlan were joined by Mr Edwards in selecting the players to be considered for the side, although no final decisions will be made until closer to the match.
This will allow for revisions based on any exceptional performances or injuries that may occur during NPL matches in the intervening time.
According to Mr Edwards, Mr Douce caught the eye of the selection panel through his solid performance this season and they have been especially impressed with his form over the last few weeks when he has stood out in the full back position.
Mr Edwards went on to say that, if selected, he believes Mr Douce’s strength and quality of play will be a real asset to the team.
NPL Head Coach, Jez Kenth, was clearly in agreement with Football Tasmania’s consideration of Douce.
“Keenan is a great example of what hard work and determination can achieve.
“A great team player and has been consistently performing at a high level.”
When asked about his selection, Douce was quite humble.
“I am absolutely honoured to be considered for the Tasmanian team and it would be a privilege to represent my state in the upcoming match.
“I give a lot of credit to Kingborough for giving me an opportunity to play.
“This year has been one of the most enjoyable for me, both on and off the pitch for sure.
“Given that four players are to be cut from the squad, I am not getting my hopes up but in saying this, it is nice to be in consideration,” said Mr Douce.
The second match will be between the Mariners and South Hobart, on Tuesday, September 10 at Lightwood Park, Kingston which the Lions will be hosting in conjuction with South Hobart.
The KLUFC are excited about this opportunity for the Football Community in Tasmania in getting exposure to top level football as the state continues to lobby for an A-League side.