From wooden spoon to champions – Over 30 women’s team wins minor premiership

This article was written by Marisa Zammit.

Barely 12 months after coming last in the competition, the over 30s women’s football soccer team “Beryl’s Bells” – from Russell Lea Women’s Soccer Club – have taken the minor premiership title this year – for the first time in the club’s history.

The victory is particularly special as the team was named in memory of one of its players, Beryl Crockford, an Olympic silver medal winner who was tragically killed in 2016 in a cycling accident.

Team manager Marisa Zammit said Beryl was not only a skilful player on the field, but an inspiring team member who encouraged her colleagues to get involved in the sport regardless of skill or experience. 

“In memory of Beryl, the Club has created a yearly award that is presented to a player that demonstrates characteristics like Beryl on and off the field,” Ms Zammit said. 

“We are a mix of dedicated football players at all skill levels, with some of our members having played for over 20 years, while others have started playing only this season.

“A few mums in the team are coaches to their daughters’ junior teams at RLWSC and others are board members; they love team sports and have come back to the game after having a break to study, travel or care for the family.” 

The team is led by volunteer coach, Dennys Vegara, a player in the over 35s men’s division from Abbotsford Juniors Football Club, who he has helped the ladies in their skill development and confidence on playing the ball at weekly training sessions and side line coaching. 

 “I am so proud of the ladies,” Mr Vegara said.

“They have come together and achieved a great result – from, last place to champions. It’s a truly amazing effort and I am thrilled to have been part of that success, and humbled by the hard work team members have put in, week in and week out.

” It’s been a great journey for me as coach to see the ladies develop their skills and enjoy playing the sport that I love.”

RLWSC is the only women’s only soccer club in NSW with both Junior and Senior teams.

The Club’s Vice President and player Jodie Wilson said: “Our club is focused on player enjoyment and player development and we cater for players from the age of five to over 50. We have a long history of promoting female soccer, starting off in the 1980s.”

Ms Wilson also congratulated all the teams that have made it to the finals:

Women Intermediate League, Division 3

Girls Under 12, Division 2

Girls Under 14, Division 1 – Final

Division 1 GMT – Grace Martin Trophy  

Women All Age, Division 3

Women All Age, Division 4

Women over 30, Division 2

Women’s World Cups part of strategic bidding plan

This article was first written and published for The Roar.

This week the New South Wales government signalled its intention to be a heavy hitter in the sporting event space over the next ten years with a strategic decision announced on Monday to bid for ten world cups in the next ten years.

When it comes to women’s sport, I always say it is important to celebrate how far we have come, while continuing to strive to be better because we still have a very long way to go.

Young Matildas in AFF final

This article was first written and published for The Roar

Tonight, the Young Matildas will play Thailand in the final of the 2018 AFF Women’s Championships in Indonesia.

It’s set to be a thrilling finale to a competitive tournament, particularly considering that Thailand are the only team that have managed to beat the Australia so far.

Let’s track their road to the final.

Sports fans rejoice, what a week to be alive!

This article was written by Melissa Muscat.

The FIFA World Cup, NRL State of Origin and Wimbledon, what a week this is shaping up to be sports fans! So much excitement in the sporting world and the next week will bring it new heights. Get the espresso ready or put your leave in from work today for Monday, you’ll thank me for the prior notice.

Two weeks ago, the country saw NSW Blues take out the 2018 State of Origin Series, after four long years. And what a feeling that was. I had the privilege of attending my first ever Origin game, after a lifetime of living and breathing sport. A wonderful experience was expected, but to witness the series win after years in exile was special. The Origin atmosphere is something else and the bragging rights have been rife over the past fortnight, as they should be. Simply the Best in the words of Tina Turner. The final step will be all of NSW cheering on the Blues to a whitewash Wednesday night, and what a celebration that is promising to be. Congrats NSW Blues, your state is proud.

Let the Beautiful Game Begin. World Cup Russia, 2018

This article was written by Melissa Muscat.

The excitement is real. Just days until the greatest sporting display on earth. The World Cup 2018. This time, the host is Russia. What a monumental event this is every four years. My only criticism is that it only occurs every four years. FIFA, make it every two please, that’s way too long between drinks. Nevertheless, it’s here, and Friday sees the host nation Russia kick off the main event against Saudi Arabia at 1am local time.

I am having a huge case of Fear of Missing Out right now and I’m sure I’m not alone. I am still hoping that one of the many competitions I have entered will call me this week telling me to pack my bags and get on a plane tomorrow as I’ll be heading to Russia. I’m not quite sure why I didn’t decide to go over. Well actually I do. I have had the privilege of attending a World Cup, in Germany 2006, and I’m hoping to visit Old Trafford in Manchester next year. A lifelong dream to see where my favourite football team, Manchester United, affectionately call ‘The Theatre of Dreams’. But for now, those of us remaining in Oz over the next month, it will have to be many late, sleepless nights, approved leave from work and much time spent cheering in front of the television.