GIRLS ON TRACK FOR STATE TITLE
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.”