North Coast Force impress at Hunter Challenge Cup

The Force under 17s in action.

NORTH Coast Force teams continue to make their mark on the representative scene after impressive performances at the Hunter Challenge Cup.

The North Coast’s junior representative teams took on strong teams from Hunter Metro, Hunter Country, and the Central Coast over the June long weekend.

The Hunter Challenge Cup is awarded to the representative program that has the highest percentage of wins from matches played across all age groups, with the North Coast Force sides finishing third overall.

Force coaching coordinator Matt Anderson was extremely impressed by the performances of all Force teams.

“The overall standard at this carnival has gone up from last year, with both Central Coast and Hunter Country being a lot more competitive,” he said.

“For us to have also raised our levels and continue to be competitive against regions with bigger talent pools to draw from is a real credit to the coaches and players.

“Our skills and playing standard has developed and increased across all age groups, it’s great to see.”

Anderson said taking part in an event such as the Hunter Challenge Cup was a great learning experience for Force players.

“Players learn far more from a challenging day like today than they do from easy wins so this experience has been great for their development,” he said.

“The key to being involved in a carnival like this is being resilient – digging deep to find that extra effort whilst also maintaining a focus on playing your part in the team system.

“I thought our players were outstanding and really showed that the North Coast Force can get in and compete no matter how hard the going gets.”

North Coast Force’s under 13s girls made history taking part in their inaugural representative carnival and winning two of their matches.

This was an unbelievable performance considering that a number of girls are playing their first season of Australian Rules, with only one having played rep footy before.

The Force’s under 17s girls also won two of their four matches, a great effort considering that their opponents comprised only sixteen and seventeen-year-olds, whilst the North Coast team had players aged fourteen to seventeen.

No team had to battle harder than the Under 17 boys group, who were reduced to just fifteen fit players by the last match due to pre-carnival withdrawals, illness and injury.

Their effort really set the tone for the whole program and, whilst a win eluded them, they were highly competitive in each match and deservedly earned great respect from each of their opponents.

The Under 15 team were extremely competitive across all four matches, claiming two wins and going agonizingly close in a third.

Their efforts were characterised by desperate defence, with all players putting their bodies on the line to prevent their opponents from scoring, and this was key to the group being the only team to beat the strong Hunter Country outfit.

The Under 13 team were impacted by players withdrawing each night due to illness, but they pushed this disappointment aside to compete strongly across both days.

For many players, this was their first taste of rep footy and they pulled together extremely well to claim a win over Central Coast which was the dominant team in this age group last season.

North Coast Force teams will now prepare for the upcoming Northern NSW Championships to be staged in Coffs Harbour on July 11-13, where they will look to build on the momentum gained from the Hunter Challenge Cup.


The North Coast Force Youth Girls under 13s girls at the Hunter Challenge Cup.

Leave a Reply