The NSW Country South futsal (indoor soccer) teams have returned from the recent national titles at Windsor, where the under-13 girls team won the national title.
Its players came from the Illawarra and South Coast, apart from one player from Sydney who played last year and wanted to stay with the team.
The Country South girls played five games across three days, which led to a semi-final showdown against Queensland City, in which the girls played strongly to clinch the match with a 13-0 win.
This result sent them into a final showdown against NSW North, who represented Sydney area and were coached by an Australian women’s open futsal team member.
The girls played hard and goal-keeper Kiara Rochaix kept them in the game via a couple of crucial saves.
However, the Southern defence was strong, led by Mariah Peever, Talia Westley, Meredith Cheyne and Lani Johnson.
Strikers Teisha McKenzie, Santina Wang and Eliza Cowan played amazingly, Cowan scoring the first goal for the match. Another in the first half by Lani Johnson gave them a 2-0 half-time lead.
NSW North hit back in the second half, but Southern’s defence picked up, and striker Santina Wang put away the third goal.
Southern were deserving champions, going through the tournament undefeated. They scored the most goals, 54, and only conceded 11, with goalkeeper Kiara Rochaix outstanding.
Teisha McKenzie was the leading goal-scorer in their age group.
The boys’ under-10s were coached by Max Videla and managed by Greg Mendez. In their first attempt at the national titles, they went well, losing just one game leading up to the semi-finals.
They fought hard, but were knocked out in the semi-finals and were ranked fourth overall.
All the boys on this team were from the Illawarra, also playing for Illawarra Vikings Futsal at Shellharbour City Stadium.