Crookwell Under 13s make history with all-girls grand final victory

Saturday, September 28 is a day which will forever be remembered in the annals of Crookwell soccer history.

It marks the day when the Crookwell Under 13s side became the first all-girls team to win a mixed competition.

Despite going in as significant underdogs, the Crookwell girls were ahead for most of the game and looked the more offensively-minded side.

Team coach, Kent McDonald, said that the girls' 3-2 victory over Workers F.C. was "quite surreal".

"It's huge, I don't even know how to describe it.

"It's a massive achievement, it just shows how competitive girls can be."

Many members of the team were much younger than their opposition. McDonald said that some of the players only turned 12 after the season ended, meaning that they were playing against opposition who were often two years older and much more physically developed.

While this makes the girls' victory more impressive, it also bodes well for future seasons as McDonald expects the same team to take the pitch in 2020.

Come next year, the team may well expect to welcome a number of new players into its ranks as well.

"I've been told that we've got another four or five girls at the same age next year, after seeing our girls go through and how successful they were," McDonald said.

"That's what I was hoping to achieve at the start of the year, that's the whole reason why we made a female team."

Along with its impact on the junior club as a whole, McDonald believes that the experience the girls gleaned from the grand final will be invaluable.

The key to their victory, he said, was a critical training session on the Wednesday before the final.

"On the Wednesday training, the first few minutes were quite poor," McDonald said.

"Just because it was such an achievement, there was a sense of 'we've made it, we're in the grand final'.

"And then I said to them we've still got one more big show to do. I've always believed that you play like you train. If you train like rubbish, you play like rubbish.

"After I had that discussion with the girls, they definitely picked up at training and then they picked up on game day where they left off at training."

STFA president, Craig Norris, gave glowing praise of the Crookwell girls' efforts and said that not only was it a big achievement for the team and the club, but "for the game in general."

"We'e been trying to get all-girls leagues going, and it's good to see a girls' side coming out and competing.

"At that age, there's not much of a gap between girls and boys, and it just shows that they can get out there and compete with the best of them."

The girls were joined on the winners' podium by the Under 15 Crookwell team, who defeated Stags '97 to make the day a clean sweep for the club.

As they now own a slice of history, it remains to be seen what the Under 13s girls can achieve in years to come.