Lions duo take on Fiji

READY: Lions teammates Lucy Henderson and Cody Blake will be representing South Australia in the Ultimate Fiji Soccer Cup.
READY: Lions teammates Lucy Henderson and Cody Blake will be representing South Australia in the Ultimate Fiji Soccer Cup.

Lions Soccer Club duo Lucy Henderson and Cody Blake will be heading overseas to compete in the 2019 Ultimate Fiji Soccer Cup after being chosen for the South Australian state side

Both defenders, they'll play important roles in the Under 19 girls and Under 16 boys team respectively, and are looking forward to the challenge of competing against the Fijians.

The Cup runs from November 30 to December 8 and will see state teams from around Australia take on Fiji and one another.

Lucy says she's keen to learn new skills by competing in the tournament and is looking forward to being exposed to a different way of playing soccer.

"Playing against Fiji will be great because I'll get to see how they play, it's going to be a big challenge," she said.

"They're going to be tougher, that's how they are, they're tougher people. As defenders I'm sure we can pick up some tricks from them."

Cody's team has only trained together once but he's confident there is some chemistry between the players heading into the Fiji tournament.

"I think this competition will help me grow as a player," he said.

The Cup is also an opportunity for the Whyalla talents to get scouted at a high level, with estimates of 40 per cent of players getting ongoing opportunities for further play or securing other working positions.

It's the 10th year of the Cup, which initially began as a way of getting more players involved in the local soccer league and now sees the visiting players bringing donations for the residents of Fiji.

Items donated include soccer boots, stationary, old soccer strips and much more to help support the residents and local orphanages.

"It's not just for us it's also for them because they gain a lot out of the donations," Lucy said.

There's only been one major hiccup in the build-up to the trip - with Cody breaking the scaphoid bone in his wrist while riding his bike.

Fortunately he gets the cast off the day before the trip, so he's confident it won't have too much of an effect on his onfield play.

To learn more about the Ultimate Fiji Soccer Cup, head to http://www.ultimatefijicup.com/.