The Brisbane Roar/QAS girls side returned from Canberra yesterday after participating in the Football Federation Australia (FFA) Girls National Training Centre (NTC) Challenge.
The Under 17 side represented Queensland across five days at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), showcasing their talent and developing their skills in front of FFA officials and Australian national team selectors.
While there was no official ladder at the tournament, the Queensland team made the top four play off after finishing second in their group behind Victoria, and went on to claim overall third place in the tournament.
Head Coach David Da Silva said that despite some sickness and injuries in the playing group, the young players enjoyed the week and its challenges.
“It’s been an enjoyable challenge down here for everyone, and I think everyone’s enjoyed the experience,” Da Silva said.
“It’s certainly been a challenge because of a number of sick players and a few injuries, but I think the players have dealt with the adversity in an impressive manner.”
The five-day tournament provided a valuable opportunity for the Queensland players in attendance to come up against their peers from around Australia.
“I think they’ve been able to benchmark the standard and realise that they are very close across the nation, but we’re really competitive and the players know what they need to go home and work on individually and collectively,” Da Silva said.
Cairns duo Molly Waddingham and Aleeah Davern, who both play in the FNQ Women’s Premier League, joined the Brisbane Roar/QAS side to represent Queensland at the tournament.
“The regional players have been outstanding; it’s been really impressive to see Molly and Aleeah really step in seamlessly with the group,” Da Silva said.
“I think it’s credit to what they’re doing up there in Cairns, and also the time they’ve spent with us in the blocks throughout the year.
“I think it’s particularly important for the regional players to get the experience in environments like the NTC Challenge, and also for them to see the standard down here as well and see that they need to be pushing themselves in every moment and taking these opportunities when they come.”
Image: Chris Simpson