THERE aren't many junior football sides that have an international coach fly in for the season, but that is exactly what the Golden City under-6 side has.
Norwegian exchange student Carina Hallgren has joined with the fledgling side to steer the team around the park in their first season of football.
Hallgren said she decided to coach the boys and play for the Golden City women's team, while on exchange at James Nash State High School, to help her get to know Australians better.
She said her team hadn't won a lot of games in the 2011 season but were improving every week.
“They are starting to have a few wins,” Hallgren said.
“I'm sure next season they will be as good as everyone else.”
The 18-year-old, whose Norwegian home is just 10 minutes out of Oslo, said she had become really close to her players.
“They are really nice,” Hallgren said.
“I have a real bond with them.”
She said it was great to see how they had evolved as footballers after never playing before.
“I am falling in love with them it will be hard to leave in three-and-a-half months,” she said.
George Pink is one of Hallgren's up and coming football stars.
He said he would love her to coach him for another year.
“She helps us do things we can't do very well in soccer,” George said.
“When we didn't know how to pass very well, Carina taught us,” the six-year-old said.
Golden City under-6 team manager, Debbie Fredman, who is also the Homestay co-ordinator for the International Schools Program at James Nash State High School, was impressed with Hallgren's contribution to football in Gympie
“Carina has been a great addition to our group of international students,” she said.
“She has really become involved in the Gympie community.
“The young players have had lots of fun and games at training with Carina.
“Which is exactly what playing in the under 6s is all about."
Hallgren said she had loved James Nash State High School and Gympie.
“People in Australia are gorgeous,” Hallgren said.
“They are so outgoing, I love every day here.”