Girls relish shot at Oceania Cup

TENSE: Mullumbimby’s Savanah Kennedy (left) and Byron Bay’s Maddison Green challenge for possession during a grade 16 clash at this year’s Oceania Cup.
TENSE: Mullumbimby’s Savanah Kennedy (left) and Byron Bay’s Maddison Green challenge for possession during a grade 16 clash at this year’s Oceania Cup.

HAYLEY Speidel was not going to miss out on the chance to pit her wits against some of the state's most lethal strikers.

The 14-year-old represented Alstonville grade 14 side at this year's inaugural Oceania Cup.

Central defender Hayley has been the sport for about three years and was among hundreds of players involved in the two-day event, hosted by Alstonville and District Football Club.

"Football is for everyone" and Cup shows women here to stay

The Alstonville High School student said she was happy to be involved in the event which wrapped up last night.

"I like saving goals, so that's why I play in defence," she said.

"I enjoy playing because it's fun meeting new people.

"I was pretty excited to play in this event because you get to play against different players. I think it's pretty important for women's football to have events like this too."

About 400 players from across northern New South Wales participated in the event, which took place at Alstonville's Geoff Watt Oval and Crawford Park.

Juniors and seniors featured, with divisions from grade 12 through to open

The event is believed to be one of only two in Australia dedicated purely to women's football.

Among those enjoying the action was experienced Lennox Head coach David Greiner, who was looking after the village's grade 16 side.

Greiner has been coaching girls since 2000 and said there were differences between coaching males and females.

"If boys are not looking at you, they are not taking things in," he said.

"Girls are like our mums - they can do two things at once. They might not be looking at you but they are listening.

"The downside - sometimes - is the commitment. Girls are also more interested in who is on their team and things other than the game."

Greiner said he gained great enjoyment from seeing players achieving on the pitch.

"The good thing is seeing what happens on the training pitch come on the field," he said.

"It is also great seeing the euphoria of the players when someone doesn't normally score."

He thanked everyone who assisted the tournament.

Topics:  alstonville oceania cup soccer

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