Northern Territory football prodigy Shay Evans has helped the Young Matildas qualify for the Asian Federation Cup (AFC).

The 17-year-old is in Myanmar on her first overseas trip enjoying the next highlight in a breakout 12 months on the paddock, which included making her W-League debut for Sydney FC.

The Young Matildas scored 18 goals in three games to finish on top of their group and comfortably qualify for the AFC finals in October and November this year.

Evans was part of the 23-player squad that defeated Uzbekistan 4-1 in the last of its three matches.

The young athlete has received a lot of praise for the effort she has put in to make it to this stage, including being awarded the Northern Territory Young Achiever Sport Award last month.

Her cheer squad is led by the Moriarty Foundation, where her football journey started.

“Everyone at Moriarty Foundation is so proud of Shay Evans,” mentor and former Socceroo John Moriarty said.

“We’ve been a part of her journey since she joined our grassroots football program in Borroloola as a young athlete, and it is a very big moment for us to see her take the international stage with the Young Matildas.”

Evans started in John Moriarty’s grassroots program at the age of 10 before leaving her community to chase her dream of playing for Australia a couple of years later.

“I’m very happy I began my football with John Moriarty Football back in Borroloola and continued on scholarship in Sydney. It is creating a lot of opportunities for me and for the young kids in my community in the Northern Territory,” Ms Evans said.

The Young Matildas will play Thailand, Japan, North Korea, China PR, South Korea and either Myanmar/Uzbekistan and Vietnam/Iran towards the end of the year.

By Keiran Deck