Fresh from a New Zealand Secondary Schools tour to the United States, Hamilton teen Chloe Henderson is aiming to make a splash in New Zealand football in coming years.
The only team representative from the Waikato, Chloe, 16, was part of the 17-woman squad which played in the Dallas International Cup in April.
The team came third in their group, but Chloe was awarded MVP for her team in the tournament after scoring several goals.
Chloe said that the experience was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her to develop as a player.
"It was really cool, and the football style was a lot different. They like to play a strong possession style of football which suits me, but also they are not afraid to get physical," Chloe said.
"It was an awesome experience because we also got to experience the culture over there as we were billeted out to different families. I didn't know anyone but they were all very friendly."
Chloe said one of the highlights outside of playing football in the United States was visiting the space centre in Houston.
She is now turning her attention to New Zealand football, where she has already made an impact at the age of 16.
Starting football at five at Hillcrest Football Club, Chloe has gone on to represent both Claudelands Rovers and Hamilton Wanderers at a premier level.
She was also part of the WaiBOP national women's team during the 2018/19 season.
"I think all the coaches I have had, including my dad, have been good for my
development. I've just been able to get that added exposure with the premier clubs which has really helped."
"I'm pretty sure my parents enjoy being apart of football more than me at times."
One aspect of New Zealand football Chloe has been impressed with is how women's football is slowly getting more resources, and nearly on par with men's.
She said locally the WaiBOP federation has to work on providing a facility for local footballers to train at when all the fields are unavailable due to bad weather.
Chloe is hoping to take her football further in the future by winning a scholarship to play in the United States, but is keeping her feet on the ground and taking it one game at a time.
She has credited all her past teammates at both Claudelands and Wanderers for helping her develop as a footballer, but pointed out fellow Hamilton Wanderers player Grace Wisnewski as her inspiration.
"What she has done already, at just the age of 16 is incredible and I just hope to keep learning from these girls."