Monaro Panthers striker Ashleigh Palombi will be out to help continue the ACT’s dominance in women’s Futsal when she takes to the court at next week’s National Championships in Canberra.
While the ACT claimed the senior women’s national title in 2013, Palombi was captain of the ACT’s Youth Women’s outfit that went down to NSW in last year’s championship final.
And the 20-year-old is hoping her step up to the senior side will enable her to exact a measure of revenge against the Territory’s fiercest rivals.
“Especially after the way it played out last year, I’d definitely enjoy knocking NSW off,” Palombi said.
“When it gets to finals at Nationals, most of the time it’s going to be ACT v NSW. We seem to fare pretty well against the other states.
“I know a few of the NSW girls from other [representative] sides. You can be friends off the court but once you get on the court ACT v NSW is as good as it gets.”
Palombi will be joined in the ACT side by Panthers teammate Natalie De Marco while Monaro’s Stephanie Coates will represent the ACT Youth squad.
Palombi was a stand out for Monaro in last year’s Women’s Premier League season, and has twice represented the Australian Schoolgirls in the outdoor version of the sport.
But the talented striker has also starred on the Futsal court. Last year saw her named in the Australian All Star side based on her performances in leading the ACT to the Youth grand final.
And Palombi, who is studying physiotherapy at the University of Canberra, said Futsal better allowed her to balance other areas of her life alongside her representative commitments.
“If I wanted to finish my degree I had to choose between Futsal or outdoor at the state level and Futsal is a lot more flexible when it comes to training and things like that,” she said.
“They’re two very different games and I enjoy both but Futsal is probably a bit more fun when you’re out on court.”
And it’s not just Ashleigh flying the Palombi flag in the round ball code with younger sister Brittany currently touring England with the Australian Under-19s Schoolgirls side.
The ACT’s first game of the National Futsal Championships against Victoria will be held at the AIS Training Hall on Monday. Kick off at 5pm.