The girls Riverina Soccer Championships were held in Griffith last weekend. Seventeen girls from the Harden Soccer Club were members of the three South-West Representative teams who participated.
Teams from Wagga, Griffith, Albury and South-West provided strong competition and all were determined to earn the title of branch champions. Selectors were also present on the weekend to select a Riverina Squad to play at the NSW State Titles in Dubbo later this year.
The South-West Slopes Under 12s side were thrilled with their performance collecting a silver medallion as runners up in their division.
Coached by Samantha Flanery and assisted by Cara Phillis, the team consists of eight Harden rep players. Emma Manwaring, Claudia Flanery, Lucy Chesworth, Hannah Phillis, Ellie McCarthy, Coco Adam, Grace Kemp and Georgia Murray played to the best of their ability all weekend. Emma led the attack while Claudia held a tight defensive game.
Lucy, Hannah, Ellie, Coco and Georgia dominated the mid-play with Grace Kemp stepping into the role of goalie, thriving under the pressure.
This was the first competition in which this team has played together. The girls secured two convincing wins against Griffith, with a draw and their only loss coming late on Saturday afternoon against Albury who were the benchmark team of the competition.
Harden’s Claudia Flanery, Emma Manwaring and Grace Kemp have been selected to trial for the Under 12s Riverina Squad in Wagga on Saturday along with Cootamundra’s Bridget Holder, Alyssa Armstrong, Kate Alderman, Georgie Tooth and Matilda McPherson. The Under 12 South-West team will now compete for the Country Cup in June.
The Under 14s team again showcased their talent by claiming victory of the branch championships title for the third consecutive year. Coached again by Cootamundra’s Mick Godbier, the team played six games over the weekend and finished undefeated.
Harden’s Emma James, Phoebe McGeoch and Jessica Doolan were too strong for their opponents in all facets of play which assisted the team to victory. The girls played each game in true spirit of football, hard but fair.
Phoebe and Jessica’s fitness and skill caught the attention of the selectors and will front up for the Riverina Trials in Wagga on Saturday.
Cootamundra’s Kirrilee Cameron, Olivia Moore, Erin Holder, Kya Godbier and Tanealle Eccelston will also trial for a position in the Under 14s Riverina team. The winning Under 14 South-West will compete at the Country Cup over the June long weekend and are determined to bring home this title also for the third year running.
The Under 16 South-West squad played skilful football over the weekend despite their strong opposition. Coach, Craig Phillis had prepared the girls well and their tight defence and determination kept the scores close for each of their six games.
Harden’s Katie Hearne Samantha Doolan, Tennnille Stephens, Taylah Phillis, Lauren Hocking, and Isabella Flanery were relentless in attack and defence and gave 100 percent all weekend. This was the second tournament for the team, after clinching the Lightning Tournament in Canberra last month. Team members Erin Boxsell, Kirby Piper-Bye, Ashley Holder and Harden’s Isabella Flanery will trial for a position in the Under 16s Riverina Squad in Wagga on Saturday.
With seventeen girls represented in the South-West teams on the weekend it is encouraging to see soccer growing from strength to strength in Harden.
The Harden girls’ skills, knowledge of the game, fitness and determination certainly show they can match it with other players in the South-West and Riverina regions.