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THE New Norfolk Under 17 girls’ football team has had a spectacular first season. From starting with just seven players at their first training run to a side of 31, this group of girl is the first all-female team fielded by the New Norfolk Junior Football Club.
Coached by former Eagles senior player Dean King, the team trained hard over the course of the season and improved out of sight. It played 12 roster matches in the Southern Tasmanian Junior Football League Girls Youth competition for seven wins and finishing third on the ladder. The team then defeated Lindisfarne in the first semi-final before losing to Claremont by 12 points in the preliminary final.
The group certainly demonstrated what can be achieved when given the opportunity. Speaking after the preliminary final at the TCA Ground last Sunday week, coach King was all praise for his team. “What these girls have done in their very first season is just fantastic,” he said. “All the parents and I are so very proud of the girls — it’s been just fantastic to be their coach and I would like to do it all again next season.”
King’s motto for the team was to always have fun and there was a positive atmosphere around the group all season, in particular the final few weeks. The team was very well organised by a great group of people and a big thank you must go to the following people that helped out on a regular basis during the season: coach Dean King, team manager Kathleen Triffett, assistant coach and runner Adrian Shaw, timekeeper Brendan Skelly and goal umpire David Bartels.
Special thanks also to Allison Rainbird, Michelle Oates, Meg Ward, Ross Triffett and all parents. Well done to all involved — to see women’s footy kick off in the Derwent Valley was very satisfying. From little things, big things grow and with the AFL Women’s League going from strength to strength, the sky is the limit for the girls.
Preliminary final: Claremont 8.6 (54) d New Norfolk 6.6 (42). Goals – New Norfolk: Maddie Shaw 4, Danika Triffett 1, Tayhlar Tangata 1. Best – New Norfolk: Madison Shaw, Brianna Oates, Charlie Lovell, Sophie Farrow, Tayhlar Tangata, Perri King.
Photo: The 2017 New Norfolk Under 17 girls’ football team, back row from left: Emily Coppleman, Montana Ward, Jasmine Skelly, Sophie Farrow, Kimberly Slater, Jemma Foley, coach Dean King, Kayla Rainbird, Danika Triffett, Kirrily Garwood, D’arne Triffett, Lily Geappen, Olivia Smith and Zoe Hoskinson. Front: Paige Pelham, Meg Walker, co-captain Tayhlar Tangata, co-captain Perri King, Katie Featherstone, Stephanie Griffiths, Lucy Watson, Brianna Oates, Kaitlen Rainbird, Charlie Lovell, Jazmyn Bartels and Madison Shaw. Absent: Haylee Madden and Brightie Rowlands. Inset: team manager Kathleen Triffett and assistant coach/runner Adrian Shaw.