January 12th-19th Tasmania sent eight teams to the 2009 National Club Championships held in Sydney.
The Tasmanian mens team competed in their first ever National Club Championships and with all the players coaching junior teams through the day and backing up for two games a night they did extremely well in sweltering conditions.
The team which included Jon Foley-Donaghue, Huw Jarvis, Corey Smith, Igor Sao Jose, Michael McKenna and Trent Pearce alongside imports Guillermo Jorge and Gilberto Costa from Brazil finished in 5th place after looking like being tournament darkhorses early.
The side started with wins over defending Pacific League Champion Victoria 6-3 which included Australia’s best Futsal player in Fernando De Moraes and Northern NSW 10-0. The second night saw them beat the New Zealand Vikings National Side 6-3 in what was a one sided affair before playing tournament favourites Queensland which had 4 Futsalroos on display. The game against Queensland was called off just before half time due to a series head injury to Guillermo and Queensland was rewarded the result 2-1 as is stood.
The last night saw the team go down 8-2 to NSW and then draw 4-4 with NSW City in what were very taxing games with injuries and illness causing the starting side to suffer severely.
The final game saw the side miss the semi finals narrowly by going down to eventual finalist Western n Australia 4-2 with the bare 5 starting players. All in all it was a successful tournament and we hope to see our 2010 squad much stronger and in with a real shot.
The side was well served through out the tournament by Captain Jon Foley-Donaghue while the standout player was Michael McKenna who celebrated his performances with selection into the All-Star starting 5 for the tournament and the Australian Squad which heads to Russia later in the year, there were also some outstanding individual games played by Igor Sao Jose, Corey Smith and the two imports Guillermo and Gilberto throughout.
With selections for the Australian side announced within the next two weeks we are hoping to have more Tasmanian representation alongside Michael.
Congratulations to Michael on being the first Tasmanian ever to be picked in an Australian Mens Futsal Squad.
The first ever National Club Championships for Tasmania was very successful with the junior sides finishing with their heads held very high after giving the other states an amazing battle.
In the National Championships Tasmania had three sides which made finals only to go down in the most painful and narrow defeats. The 15 Girls side based in the North of Tasmania unluckily went down in the final in a penalty shoot out which was the girls only loss of the tournament and was absolutely heartbreaking while the 12 Boys Islanders Academy squad backed up their 2008 National Schools Championships victory by making their way to the final of the 12 boys division with 6 wins out of 7. In the final they met Qld City who had been together for 4 yrs and were reigning Australian Regional Champions. The final was end to end all game and was dominated by possession in what was a very tactical chess style final ending with Qld scoring in the last minute to win the game 3-2 and send our boys home with the runners up trophy. The 12 Girls Eastern region squad also made the final in their age group which saw 12 Girls and 13 Girls groups together in the round robin stage due to numbers. The girls made the 12 Girls final only to go down very narrowly in a game that could have gone either way. These sides were very unlucky in the end but these results along with the 11 Boys, 12 Boys, 13 Boys and 12 Girls reaching the semi finals stage of their first Nationals it shows the power that Tasmania has going forward.
Squad selections and trials will be held at the end of the 2009 Summer Season for 2010 National Championships. We are hoping this will give Tasmania the best possible chance of reaching the best results.
Tasmanian Players who were selected in National All Star teams for their age groups were -
11 Boys- Dean Watkins (Tasmanian Islanders)
12 Boys- Angus Souter (Tasmanian Islanders)
13 Boys- Justin Noonan (Tasmania North)
12 Girls- Athina Tsakiris (Tasmania South East)
15 Girls- Catherine Gaggin (Tasmania North)
15 Girls- Kiara Walsh (Tasmania North)
Open Men- Michael McKenna (Tasmanian Islanders)
Other Standout performers were -
11 Boys- Sam Adkins (Tasmanian Islanders)
11 Boys- Lucas Targett (Tasmanian Islanders)
12 Boys- Cameron Rogers (Tasmanian Islanders)
13 Boys- Alexander Gaggin (Tasmania North)
13 Boys- Adam Gorrie (Tasmania North)
12 Girls- Bronte Davison (Tasmania South East)
15 Girls- Louise McMullen (Tasmania North)
Junior Club Series
All Tasmanian sides stayed on after the Nationals to compete in the the National Club series which sees club teams compete to become National Champions. After a week of 35+ degrees in the National Championships most sides saw this as a chance to rotate players and give everyone a go. It was very hard for the children to back up after such a long week but it was a credit to them that they did as well as they did. With all sides doing very well the stand outs were the 11 Boys Islanders Academy who won 8 out of 9 games with the only loss coming in the final and the 13 Boys Northern Fusion Team who competed in the 12 boys division due to numbers and got over the line to win the final against 12 Boys team The Zoo in the final in golden goal.
Source : Futsal Tasmania
Published : 27/1/2009