South East girls claim soccer and rugby union titles

The winning U12 Open Cooma Tigers team: Back row L-R: Sam Readmond, Charlotte Woolf, Ava Ward, Maggie Johnson, Jessica Norris, Charlee Bromfield, Ivana Groves and coach Lucas Cattell. Middle row: Emma Lloyd, Domonic Nitto and Bindi Phillips. Front row: Gracye Boucher, Amelia Cleverley and Felicity Tame. Lying: Rhys Cleverly and Charlie Perea. Photo: Tania Ward
The winning U12 Open Cooma Tigers team:
Back row L-R: Sam Readmond, Charlotte Woolf, Ava Ward, Maggie Johnson, Jessica Norris, Charlee Bromfield, Ivana Groves and coach Lucas Cattell. Middle row: Emma Lloyd, Domonic Nitto, and Bindi Phillips. Front row: Grace Boucher, Amelia Cleverley, and Felicity Tame. Lying: Rhys Cleverly and Charlie Perea. Photo: Tania Ward

The under 12 Cooma Tigers Soccer Team has taken out Division 3 of the Capital Football  Junior League, beating the Woden Valley Wanders 2-0.

Under the guidance of coach Lucas Cattell, the team only came together at the beginning of the season, what makes the weekends win all the more astounding is that the team has 10 girls and four boys and they’ve only played against all-male teams throughout the entire competition.

There have been plenty of weeks where the all-boys teams have arrived at the field and have been heard to say, “We’ll flog them, they’ve got heaps of girls,” but this tough little team has shown that it doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or boy when it comes to playing good soccer.

The competition doesn’t have a finals series but rather an extra round with the top six teams playing again, the winner is whoever is on top at the end of the competition.

It’s been a battle for the top spot all season with the Woden Valley Wanders, the Tigers going down to the red and sky blue early in the season.

“The anticipation going into last weekend’s round was huge,” says Team Manager Kirsty Salvestro.

“We’re so proud of this team, many of them didn’t know each other at the beginning of the season and they’ve come together, played so well, had a ball and made new friends along the way.

“None of us knew what to expect going into this competition but it has been a great experience and of course we’re all delighted to come home as premiers,” Ms Salvestro says.

The team will receive their trophies at either the Cooma Tigers or Capital Football presentation events later in the month.

South East girls are also having success on the rugby union paddock, with the under 17 Flying Piglets wrapping up a terrific season with a premiership title.

The Flying Piglets are a combination of players from two local clubs – the Far South Coast Falcons and Jindabyne Bushpigs. 

For some of the girls, 2017 was their first season playing, with both clubs looking to build on the success and host individual club teams in the years to come.

On grand final day, the country girls easily despatched Canberra Wests 41 – 5 at Erindale Oval earlier this month.

Tamika Millard of Pambula on her way to another to another try for the Flying Piglets. Photo: Angus Roberston
Tamika Millard of Pambula on her way to another to another try for the Flying Piglets. Photo: Angus Roberston

Piglet mentor and Wallabies great Gary Pearse is beaming about his team’s success in the first competition of its kind.

“Wests are a strong, organised and well-balanced side with big, aggressive ball carriers in the middle and skillful, pacey backs who can shift the ball with precision,” Mr Pearse says.

“Our opponents are packed full with current Brumbies players with one of the best backlines in the competition, I am over the moon that our girls are about to be recognised in that way and further develop their skills.”

Fresh from their grand final win, a number of the Piglets along with other local players, have been selected in the ACT Girls 7s Preliminary Squad, ahead of the National 7s Championships in Brisbane on December 9 and 10.

The locals include:

Kirra Burke, Jindabyne (Piglets)

Rhianna Burke, Jindabyne (Piglets)

Tamika Millard, Pambula (Piglets)

Jada Oslen-Flanagan, Batemans Bay (Piglets)

Isabella Kiely, Pambula (Falcons)

Jorja Moore, Quaama (Falcons)

Kate Brown, Jindabyne (Bushpigs)

Lily Rose Bennett, Narooma

The Falcons under 14s and u16 will run out this weekend in the Brumbies Super 7s Series at Broulee, followed by Goulburn, Tumut and hopefully Wagga for the finals.

The club is planning to host a 7s gala weekend in Tathra early next year with the Brumbies.

 

*Thanks for About Regional members, Jo Riley-Fitzer, Nancy Blindell, Fay Deveril, and Pam Murray for their support in telling local stories.

*Thanks to Tania Ward and Kate Howarth for their content contributions.