Biloela club Callide United is one step closer to fielding a Senior Women’s side after the club’s recent success at the Girls United Carnival in Gladstone.
Callide United Treasurer Leanne Seagrott said the Carnival, which was held three weeks ago at Boyne Tannum Football Club, has “lifted our girls” and helped the club integrate new players.
“At our club, when we see a carnival come up, we don’t worry about the strength of the team or whether we think we can win it, because winning isn’t everything to us,” she said.
“We went away with an Opens team and an U15 team, but we weren’t sure how they were going to go.
“Our Opens team was made up of players aged 15 to 17, with just one 20-year-old. Only two of the players had played Senior football before.
“In our U15 team, we had three 12-year-old girls who were so keen to play, so we put them in there to make up the numbers and they just grew so much over that weekend.”
In the end, the Opens team had two wins and a draw, while the U15 side won its age group Grand Final in a penalty shootout.
That winning side also featured three 15-year-old netballers who had been invited by their friends at Callide United to give football a try.
According to Seagrott, the three newcomers — Ella McIntyre, Ella Duncan and Emily Delise — were standout performers, scoring crucial goals and trying out new positions.
“The U15s went up against the number one team first up on the Sunday morning and the confidence in the girls was amazing,” she said.
“We held them to a nil-all draw and went to a penalty shoot-out, which was quite funny because a couple of our new players said, ‘what’s a penalty shoot-out?’”
“One of the new players, Ella McIntyre, took the first penalty and scored. In the Grand Final, we went to another penalty shoot-out and Ella Duncan scored the winning penalty.
“Our other newcomer, Emily, actually put up her hand to play goalkeeper for half a game, which was great to see.”
Seagrott said all three girls have since expressed their interest in joining Callide United next season.
“We don’t have a Senior Women’s team at our club yet, but we’ve got a lot of girls who are around that 15 to 16 age group,” she said.
“A lot of senior players want to stick with our club, so that’s why we’re looking at starting a Senior Women’s team next year.
“We thought the Girls United Carnival was the perfect opportunity for new players to give football a chance to have a go without committing to a full season.
“They’ve definitely indicated that they’re interested in playing next season either in our U16 competition or a Women’s team.”
Seagrott, whose family has been involved in football in Biloela for decades, said Girls United was one of the highlights of her time in the game.
“I’ve taken CQ representative teams away and been to big carnivals with Callide, but this Girls United Carnival was up there with the best of them,” she said.
“My brother Scott and I have coached for over 30 years and have seen a lot of things, but I’ve we’ve never seen a bunch of players come together in a carnival like these girls did.”
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