Tiny team packs a big punch at tournament
The Matamata Hornets didn’t quite bring home a national title even though they ‘‘played out of their skins’’ at a recent tournament, team manager Angela Roskam said.
The 11th grade team came third equal at the New Zealand Junior Football Club Cup held in Albany on Labour Weekend.
Organisers didn’t let the team play off for third and fourth.
The Hornets made the semifinals where they held the eventual cup winners to a 0-0 draw after extra time. They lost in a penalty shoot-out.
Both the players and their parents were very committed to the weekend tournament, which Roskam appreciated.
Her son, Edward, suffered suspected broken toes during the tournament but played on.
‘‘ We breed them tough here,’’ she said.
Playing on artificial turf was also a new experience for the team. They were invited to the competition after a successful winter season. They were runners-up in the Waikato premier division and also runners-up in the Waikato Cup, a knockout competition in the second half of the season.
Their coach, John Harris, said the team has been in the top two in the Waikato for the past three seasons – a big achievement for a team that draws just from the local area.
‘‘It blows me away. We are just a little Matamata team and we got into a national tournament.’’
HAPPY HORNETS: The Matamata Hornets came third equal at the New Zealand Junior Football Club Cup held in Albany over Labour Weekend.