Tough U11 Sharks player se­lected to play in the Penin­sula team

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Gizelle Ghidella

MARSHONTAE Wa­cando grew up on the side­lines watch­ing her par­ents play footy. Now it’s her time to shine in Mackay to play in the Penin­sula Girls rugby league team.

The 11-year-old is the first fe­male player from the Moss­man Sharks Ju­niors to make rep­re­sen­ta­tive foot­ball and she was the only girl from Moss­man se­lected for the final team.

Ivy Min­niecon was in tears when they named her daugh­ter in the last spot for the squad. “I was so happy when they called out her name, I am so proud of her,” Ms Min­niecon said.

“It’s such a great feel­ing to see your kids achieve.”

Rugby league runs in Marshontae’s blood – both her par­ents played footy.

“She’s got the nat­u­ral abil­ity. Footy runs in her blood and she pretty much grew up on the side­lines watch­ing me and her fa­ther play,” Ms Min­niecon said.

“Footy taught her the im- por­tance of be­ing part of a team and helped her so much with her con­fi­dence, she’s come right out of her shell.

“She has a go at ev­ery­thing, it’s what I love about her, she never stops try­ing,” she said.

Marshontae’s club footy coach, Adam MacDon­ald, says she brings a strong pres­ence to the Un­der 11 Sharks team.

“She brings a power to the team, she’s a strong girl and pro­vides a go for­ward,” said Coach MacDon­ald

“She takes tough car­ries for us, we rely on her.

“She’s got lots of abil­ity and she’s a lovely girl, she brings a great smile and pres­ence to the team,” he said.

He said Marshontae had “re­ally stepped up since the end of last sea­son and I think she’s just re­al­is­ing her strengths”.

He be­lieves Marshontae will have rep­re­sen­ta­tive hon­ours in the women’s league if she con­tin­ues to play rugby.

“She’s such a good ex­am­ple for other young ladies who are in­ter­ested in the sport and I en­cour­age those girls to get in­volved,” MacDon­ald said.

Marshontae, a sec­ond row, looks to lo­cal boy Ba­cho Salam who now plays in the U20s Cow­boys side, as in­spi­ra­tion.

Marshontae thanks Ja­bal­bina for spon­sor­ing her but that’s only the first step to get her to Mackay in Septem­ber.

If you’d like to spon­sor Marshontae con­tact Ivy on 0484772531.

Marshontae Wa­cando with coach Adam MacDon­ald

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