Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMPSON

ST MAR­GARET Mary’s Col­lege are chas­ing a Queens­land school­girls foot­ball ti­tle af­ter be­ing crowned North Queens­land cham­pi­ons.

The St Mar­garet Mary’s un­der- 15 Bill Turner Tro­phy team over­came a tough NQ com­pe­ti­tion by scor­ing wins against Kir­wan State High, Bur­dekin Catholic High, Mackay State High and Cairns State High, be­fore book­ing them­selves a trip to Bris­bane next month.

The NQ cham­pi­ons will likely start as un­der­dogs for the up­com­ing state fi­nals, but St Mar­garet Mary’s are play­ing with noth­ing to lose af­ter al- ready de­fy­ing ex­pec­ta­tions to get this far.

“The first few games we had quite a few in­juries to deal with and peo­ple be­ing away, be­cause they have ad­di­tional com­mit­ments apart from the school soc­cer team,” team man­ager Ash­leigh Rhodes said.

“We didn’t ac­tu­ally play with a full team un­til we went away to Cairns on Mon­day, and to get those girls to­gether and play as well as they did af­ter a five- hour trip up to Cairns, it was won­der­ful to watch.

“What we said to them was the fo­cus wasn’t on win­ning, what was go­ing to make the trip worth­while was to play the best we could. The fact that we got the win against a re­ally strong Cairns team I think was a re­mark­able ef­fort from ev­ery­one.”

Rhodes said the tight- knit group also dis­played an im­pres­sive level of self suf­fi­ciency through­out their suc­cess­ful NQ cam­paign.

“Most of them play to­gether at club level, so they’re all fa­mil­iar with each other which it makes it easy as a team man­ager,” she said.

“We don’t need to hold ad­di­tional coach­ing ses­sions be­cause they al­ready play to­gether on a weekly ba­sis.

“They or­gan­ise things from play­ing po­si­tions to subs, they warm them­selves up and they warm them­selves down. They’re very in­de­pen­dent for a young group of girls, rang­ing from 13 years through to 15 years, and it’s fan­tas­tic to be a part of it.”

Rhodes said en­joy­ment would again be the name of the game when the team takes on south­east Queens­land’s best foot­ball schools next month.

“They are re­ally in­trin­si­cally mo­ti­vated to play soc­cer, and it’s not about the prize at the end,” she said.

“They love play­ing to­gether as a team and they love to chal­lenge them­selves, so as a teacher it’s been de­light­ful to watch these girls get to­gether for the en­joy­ment they get out of it.”

IN­DE­PEN­DENT: The St Mar­garet Mary's Col­lege team in­clud­ing ( Han­nah Richter, 13, Ge­or­gia Bog­danek, 14, Vic­to­ria Bony­hai, 15, Caylee Scott, 13, Madi Knight, 13, and Hay­ley Miller, 14, won the un­der- 15 Bill Turner Cup foot­ball com­pe­ti­tion. Pic­ture: FIONA H

from left)

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