JORDAN Thurtell is destined for higher honours if national goalkeeping coach John Gorza's assessment is on the money.
Gorza has described Thurtell as one of the best young keepers in the country and said the 16-year-old was shaping as the No.1 goalkeeping option for the Australian under-17 Joeys.
"Jordan did very well in Laos last month (AFF under-16 preparation tournament)," Gorza said yesterday.
"There are three very good keepers in the squad and I would expect Jordy is probably in front as the No.1 keeper."
Gorza has been involved in Thurtell's development squad for more than four years and identified the Coast junior's talent from a young age.
"You could see at 13 he had the potential," Gorza said.
"He's strong mentally, has a very good physique and he rarely gets injured.
"Jordy's a good shot-stopper and he reads the game very well," he said.
The Coast product's rise has pleased Gorza, who now has the opportunity to work with the young custodian with the Joeys as they look to secure a berth at next year's under-17 World Cup.
"I know him very well and I'm really pleased to be working with him at a national level," Gorza said. "Jordy's done everything expected of him and he's well-regarded down at the AIS."
Thurtell has impressed with his work ethic and ability during his time at the AIS and Gorza hopes the young keeper will get his chance in the A-League.
"He's made every post a winner down there (AIS)," Gorza added.
"There's a couple of A-League clubs already looking at him," he added.
Gorza believes Thurtell's ability to perform under pressure should hold him in good stead.
"He's a big-game player," Gorza said.
"Early on, his ability to perform on the big stage and deal with the pressure was impressive," he added.
Thurtell hopes to continue his recent good form with strong performances at the AFC under-16 championships in Iran in late September.
"I feel like I'm playing pretty well at the moment, so hopefully I can take that into the tournament," he said.