A young Borroloola footballer has won a prestigious Northern Territory award after a breakout year playing in the big smoke.

Shadeene (Shay) Evans claimed the Northern Territory Young Achiever Sport Award for making her debut in the W-League and for the Young Matildas in the last year.

Evans, 17, joined Sydney FC last year as she entered year 11 at school. She made the long journey to Sydney with the support of the John Moriarty Football Scholarship.

“I want to inspire young Indigenous children to believe that they too can have promising futures,” Evans said.

“It is programs like this that give remote Indigenous kids a reason to study hard and pursue a better future through football,” she said.

Shay has been earmarked as a future Matilda and hopes to represent her country at a World Cup.

Her selection in the Young Matildas squad makes her the first person from Borroloola to play football for Australia since John Moriarty.

“Shay is an example of what Australia can achieve when we invest in Indigenous communities,” John Moriarty said.

“We’re thrilled for Shay and think she is very deserving of the NT Young Achiever Sport Award.”

By Keiran Deck