With what was an extremely difficult off season we finally get got under way in this year’s NSW McDonalds Futsal Super League. An away trip to the well established Botany Bay Pirates was always going to be a tough ask, but coupled with the young, depleted Taipans teams we were all looking for something to build on.
And so it transpired as the day played out. Botany Bay’s strength, experience and maturity had the better over the young, inexperienced and short in numbers squads of the Taipans in most games. That is not to say that Botany Bay had it all their own way, and what we can all be sure of is that the building blocks are there, as we witnessed some excellent displays of Futsal from many players that were playing at this level for the first time.
First up was the 12’s Boys. Only two of this squad were returning from last year, leaving the majority of players to experience Super League Futsal for the first time. Finally going down 10-4, new coach Bobby Mazevski was delighted with the effort shown and now knows what the boys have to work on going forward.
Next up was the 12’s Girls. Even to get a team on the court this season has taken a monumental effort by all concerned. The final score of 7-1 to the Botany Bay Pirates far from told the story of this game. With only the bare minimum of five players and no subs, the girls kicked off still learning each other’s names. None had played at this level before, yet they set about their job with the vim and vigour required to hold their own. It was fitting that the largest cheer of the day was for the young Taipans as Abigail Jordan scored the goal that was just reward for all their effort. (That’s not the last we see of these girls today).
Time for the 14’s Boys, and young Coach Sam Davies had been pleased with the boys training going into this game. They got off to the perfect start taking an early lead, but the overall size, strength and experience of what will be one of the front runners for the 14 boys comp overpowered the Taipans young side. Final score 8-3 to Botany Bay.
14’s girls followed, and with only three girls available and no goalkeeper, it was time for the 12’s girls to step up once again. And step up they did as they held out for long periods of the game against a full size, full strength Botany Bay. Finally finishing up a 5-0 defeat, it was an excellent performance from the three 12’s and three 14’s.
It was the 16’s boys that finally gave the Taipans supporters something to cheer about on the day. With only six players available today, new coach Russell Crighton topped his team up with three boys from the 14’s. A great display of Futsal from all the lads culminated in four goals for Josh Bingham and two for Cameron Morgan in a fine 6-1 win.
Once again the girls were short in numbers for the turn of 16’s with only two players topped up with the three 14’s it was never going to be easy. But to their credit the five girls did a remarkable job only just going down 2-1 despite most of them playing two whole games with no respite.
Time for the Youth men to deliver the Taipans only other victory of the day. In a high speed, high tempo and sometimes highly charged game of great futsal, an own goal gave the Taipans an early lead. Botany Bay equalised only for Mitchell Delturco to get the first of his brace and give back the lead to the classy Taipan side. Once again Botany Bay equalised, but Delturco’s second gave the Taipans the victory that they deserved.
Last of the girls teams was the open women, and with short numbers being the order of the day, so it continued with only six women available, one of which could hardly stand up due to a very heavy flu virus, coach Mike Bushe knew he had he’s work cut out. The Taipans women’s team this year is completely made up of girls moving up from the 16’s plus two new girls, and despite a valiant effort, the experience of Botany Bay at this level finally took its toll on the depleted Taipans, ending 7-1 to the Pirates.
Last up was the Open Men’s. In a hard fought battle it was the established Botany Bay that got the edge over a Taipan side that is still gelling together team. Coach Justin McLeay will be pleased that the guys never gave up and showed signs throughout the match of greater things to come. Final score ending up 7-4 to Botany Bay.
So overall not the start to the season that many would have expected from last year’s runners up, but for us, we know it’s a year to rebuild. We have started again, and with the display from our teams on this opening day, we can see the foundations are solid. It will be a year of development with so many players playing up an age group and new players getting the exposure to this level of Futsal. The building blocks are in place, we just need to add to them. It was a great effort from all involved, with a special thank you to all the girls that turned up and gave it their all.