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BIS girls defend their title in U19 SISAC Football Championships 2019

Our U19 BIS girls defend their title in the 2019 SISAC Football City Championships. Fieke Evers provides the championship highlights.

Finally, tournament day had arrived. Our team had been training for weeks, some of us even months. The time to show the other schools what we were made of had finally come. After an unbelievable pre-season and an unbeaten winning streak in the friendlies, we were ready. We handed in our comfortable, familiar burgundy kits and switched them for a new, fierce grey one. New kit, new season, new players, same goal… to defend our title of U19 Senior Girls SISAC Champions.

After the one-hour bus ride, we arrived at the familiar pitch where we had claimed our victory the year before. Determined we stepped onto the blazing astroturf and switched on our tournament mindset. We put on our shin guards, laced up our boots and started our warm up to get ready for our very first game of SISAC 2019. 

Our first pool game was against a solid opponent known to be quite unpredictable in their formations and tactics: ISHCMC. Their starting 7 were without a doubt the strongest players in their team but still didn’t match our teams' chemistry and ability. After only a few minutes of play, Teaghan McKelvie started off our goal-scoring streak with an amazing shot to the top left corner. After our first goal, all our nerves fled away and we breathed an initial sigh of relief. Moments after our first goal, Faith Charnock scored another beauty. Our teams' confidence grew and we started to play to the high level we had consistently been at throughout pre-season and the friendlies. After scaring the opposing team in the first half, the ISHCMC coach decided to put their strongest player as a striker, however, this didn’t intimidate us a single bit. We kept playing to our own standards and ended up with an outstanding 8-0 win. 

  • Goal scorers: Hayley Handscombe, Maika Pedersen, Gemma Handscombe, Ela Walsh, Teaghan McKelvie, Faith Charnock.

The second pool game was against AMIS, which happened to be the team we played against last in the friendlies. This game really brought out the best in a lot of our players like the Handscombe Sister Duo. Watching them play from the sidelines was unbelievable. Countless combinations resulted in multiple goals for both the sisters followed by a series of amazing shots from Saebom, Faith, Teaghan and Anne Linh. The end result of this amazing match was a 9-0 win!

  • Goal scorers: Hayley Handscombe, Maika Pedersen, Gemma Handscombe, Anne Linh Guettier De Percin, Saebom Park, Faith Charnock, Teaghan McKelvie

Due to the pooling system and the way we were grouped, we finally had the opportunity to play against our own team in the semi-finals. We had been training with and alongside each other the whole season but never actually played competitively against them so it was quite an interesting experience. This was one of the most enjoyable games of the tournament as we really got to practice and put into play all the skills we had learnt all season. As well as this, we used this game to put different people in different positions. It was honestly amazing to see how well people on our team could adapt to different positions with different skill requirements. As the final whistle blew, the scoreboard totalled up to a 7-0 win for the BIS A (grey) team.

  • Goal scorers: Hayley Handscombe, Maika Pedersen, Gemma Handscombe, Anne Linh Guettier De Percin, Ela Walsh, Faith Charnock

Finally, the biggest match of the day had arrived, we had made it to the finals. SSIS has been our biggest competition in the last few years. Two years ago we lost our winning streak by an unfortunate defeat in the finals, but last year we came back stronger than ever and reclaimed our righteous title with the intention of doing it again this year. We started off at a high tempo which evidently paid off as we scored practically immediately. After a few exceptional goals from the Handscombe sisters and Maika Pedersen the half time whistle blew with BIS leading 4-1. A running joke throughout our team has been to put the defenders and goalkeeper as strikers, so, as the whistle blew to signify the start of the second half, I was put in as a striker - a position I'm terrified of. 8/11 players on our team had already scored and after relentless running and chasing after the ball, I managed to score too. At 6-1 we decided to put our goalkeeper Isaure Echivard as a striker and one of our most all-around players Hayley Handscombe in goal. 2 more goals were scored and Hayley made a few exceptional saves but sadly our vision of having every player on the team score will have to wait until next year. After the final whistle blew we were ecstatic, another big 8-1 win to end an amazing tournament!

  • Goal scorers: Hayley HandscombeMaika Pedersen, Gemma Handscombe, Fieke Evers, Ela Walsh, Teaghan McKelvie

The ‘Awards Ceremony’ brought an end to an incredible day of football. This tournament has been one of the most successful ones I have ever been a part of - it was hard to keep track of our goals and all our goal scorers! Our standard of football didn’t waver throughout the entire tournament.

A few honourable moments and mentions are that:

  • we are the first school to have two teams competing in the A league;
  • Out of a team of 11, 9 of us managed to score;
  • Our lowest scoring game was a 7-0 win
  • We only conceded 1 goal in the whole tournament.
  • A personal favourite was Coach O’Brien telling us “training for next year starts tomorrow” less than 5 minutes after our final game. 

On behalf of our team, I would like to thank our coaches: Matthew O’Brien and Jonathan McLoughlin. Without the constant feedback, target setting and coaching we wouldn’t be playing at the level we are at currently and wouldn’t have been able to be as successful as we have been this season. We would also like to thank our leavers. Sadly, just like most years, we have to say goodbye to our Year 13 graduates. This year we will, unfortunately, have to let go of two very talented players: our amazing winger - Saebom Park and phenomenal goalie - Sienna Barstow. 

Fieke Evers

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