WA girls identified among nation’s best: NTC CHALLENGE 2016

WA’s NTC Girls with Matildas captain Lisa De Vanna. Photo: Jessine Bonzas

Friday, June 17, 2016

City Beach teenager Roisin Connolly left a lasting WA impression at the Girls National Training Centre Challenge with a goal for the Select Team in the final match of the week-long tournament.

Football West News

WA’s girls performed admirably during seven matches, losing just once, and providing the platform for Connolly and goalkeeper Morgan Aquino, from Bayswater, to earn selection in the Select Team.

The Select Team consists of players identified as among the best at the tournament and who have the potential to play for the Matildas.

Connolly scored the second goal for the Select Team in a 2-2 draw against NTC Challenge winners Northern New South Wales at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra on Monday.

Coach Jessine Bonzas said the overall performance of the WA team, which drew six of its seven matches, was further evidence of the improving talent in the state.

“The girls had a really good week and they come back in great spirits and ready to continue their development,” she said.

“We were competitive the whole week – the consistency was there – and that hasn’t always been the case in the past. There were some games where we absolutely dominated and we just couldn’t convert out chances.

“We drew with Northern New South Wales, who were the top team, and NSW, who were second, and it’s the first time WA has taken a point off NSW in an NTC Challenge, so there are a lot of positives.”

Although most players at the NTC Challenge were aged 16 and 17, the WA squad included five 15-year-old players, including Aquino.

Georgie Ireland, Rosie Lehane, Cheyenne Wise-Jarvis and Alexia Moreno also showed ability beyond their years.

“All of the younger players stepped up and we saw so much growth from them,” Bonzas said. “It showed that investing in our young talent, giving them opportunities and fast-tracking their development is a very good approach.”

Aside from the on-field action, the girls also attended an inspirational workshop where they heard from Matildas coach Alen Stajcic and former national team player Heather Garriock.

They also watched the Matildas train in preparation for the Rio Olympic Games and met with WA striker and Australia captain Lisa De Vanna.

WA results: NNSW 0 WA 0; WA 0 Qld 0; WA 1 (Liana Cook) ACT 1; WA 0 SA 0; Tas 0 WA 0; NSW 1 WA (Georgia Cawley); WA 1 (Ellie La Monte) Victoria 4.

Squad: 1 Morgan Aquino (Suburb: Bayswater); 2 Alyssa Van Heurck, co-captain (Dalkeith); 3 Cheyenne Wise-Jarvis (Landsdale); 4 Sofie Osborne (Palmyra); 5 Georgina Teakle (Doubleview); 6 Georgie Ireland (Southern River); 7 Roisin Connolly (City Beach); 8 Abbey Meakins, co-captain (Woodlands); 9 Ellie La Monte (High Wycombe); 10 Alexia Moreno (Dianella); 11 Kizanne Mulder (Pearsall); 12 Isabella Foletta (Yokine); 14 Rosie Lehane (Booragoon); 15 Tessa De Leo (Mt Lawley); 16 Liana Cook (Esperance); 17 Julia Kagiannis (Rivervale); 18 Georgia Cawley (Mindarie).

Coach: Jessine Bonzas

Assistant coaches: Steffi Nadilo and Faye Chambers

Manager: Lisa Tana

Physio: Ciara Conway

Technical Director: Cris Ola