U13 Boys team finishes second at the Craig Foster Challenge Cup
Bundaberg has flexed its futsal muscle again, with its Wildcats team finishing second in the under-13 boys’ division of the Craig Foster Challenge Cup at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Coach John Dixon said they played five games over the day at Cornubia Sports Centre, drawing with Brisbane 2-2, blitzing Gold Coast 5-1 and going down to Sunshine Coast 3-2, but bouncing back to book a place in the final with a 5-1 drubbing of New South Wales.
They dug deep into their reserves of energy in the decider against Sunshine Coast but were beaten by the same score-line as in their round-robin, 3-2.
The result came just one week after an all-Bundaberg Queensland Country team finished second in the Youth Men’s division of the Australian championships.
Dixon lauded a robust team performance, well led by captain Benjamin Daniels and including Dixon’s son Jonathan, the goalkeeper, Nykodah Smith, Lachlan Scarborough, Padraig Pagliano, Axel Montero, Chase Connelly and Nicholas Chippendale.
“They all played well. I can’t pin-point anyone. They all played excellently and to high standards as a perfect team,” Dixon said.
“It was the first time they have been away and I didn’t know what to expect. My main objective was to get to the final and it was excellent for the boys to get that far. It was a great achievement.
“Goals were shared around pretty well. I don’t look at who scored or who defended, they played well as a quality team and all pitched in and scored and defended. That’s the way I like it.”
Dixon said most of the team played together “outdoors”, with all except Montero (Moore Park) and Daniels (Brothers-Aston Villa) members of North Bundaberg Eagles, which led to their great teamwork.
“In futsal, they all play in different teams in normal fixtures first every Wednesday, but they double up after that as the Wildcats in the under-16 boys, up a couple of divisions to get their skill levels up, and they benefited from that.”
Dixon hopes to go one better at next year’s Challenge Cup.
“There are a couple of things we have got to work on, which we can, but we had a lot praise from Sunshine Coast and Brisbane clubs about how well we played.
The talk was Bundy would be easybeats but we showed them a bit,” he said.