DREAM: Withcott teenager Zoe Webster won gold with Australia at the FIT Youth World Cup in Malaysia.
DREAM: Withcott teenager Zoe Webster won gold with Australia at the FIT Youth World Cup in Malaysia. Lachlan McIvor

Touch star made to sweat in trying World Cup conditions

TOUCH FOOTBALL: Playing in conditions of 34 degrees and 100 per cent humidity certainly made her sweat but Zoe Webster now proudly wears a World Cup gold medal around her neck.

Representing Australia at the FIT Youth World Cup in Malaysia, Webster scored eight tries on the way to knocking off old rival New Zealand 11-3 in the final.

She made her international debut at the tournament and said it was an eye-opening experience.

The 17-year-old played 12 games over four days in extremely humid conditions, which had teammates head to hospital on drips, because they were suffering from heat stroke.

The conditions got to her during the second game of the carnival and she had to sit out with headaches.

"It's a dream come true. I never thought I would have that title,” Webster said.

"I felt really confident out there and I was able to score a try against the Kiwis, so that was nice.

"The main thing I found different about this carnival is we were treated as elite athletes. The recovery and the warm-ups were just as important as the game.”

Zoe Webster in action at the FIT Youth World Cup in Malaysia.
Zoe Webster in action at the FIT Youth World Cup in Malaysia. Contributed

The Withcott teenager plays touch for the South West Swans, Fairholme College and Brisbane club Southern Storm.

She is to pull on the jersey for Queensland in the upcoming U18 National Youth Championships.

Her height and long reach gives her an advantage and allows her to easily snatch intercepts.

With her foot in the door, the link has ambitions to represent Australia at open level.

The experience of a world cup, which also saw her take on sides from South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore and the United States, has given her added motivation to improve as a player.

"The girls I played with were definitely a very high standard,” she said.

"Before our grand final we had to run out and we had our names called out. Signing the national anthem was pretty special.”


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