Tamworth women win inaugural Acropolis Shield

Pushing forward: South Armidale's Jake Curran sets up an attacking raid as Tamworth's Jake Thompson gives chase.
Pushing forward: South Armidale's Jake Curran sets up an attacking raid as Tamworth's Jake Thompson gives chase.

Tamworth retained the Acropolis Cup and won the first ever Acropolis Shield when the annual pre-season tournament was played in Tamworth on Saturday.

Dating back over 60 years, this year saw a women’s competition introduced for the first time.

The Tamworth side was triumphant in that after posting wins over Kamilaroi (7-nil) and Kootingal (3-nil).

Alex Boulus

Alex Boulus

Champions: The successful Tamworth mens side.

Champions: The successful Tamworth mens side.

“It’s a great innovation,” Tamworth coach Wayne May said.

Top side: Tamworth became the first winners of the Acropolis Shield.

Top side: Tamworth became the first winners of the Acropolis Shield.

“NIF (Northern Inland Football) have done well to set this up.”

His side comprised players from six different clubs and was a mix of ages.

“From 13 and 14 years right up to 50. 

“She wanted to play with her daughter,” he said.

He only had a 45 minute session with them on Wednesday but said they gelled pretty well.

They shared the scoring honours around, with May counting at least seven different goalscorers.

That was complemented by an almost impenetrable defence, Kim Martin and Kahla May marshalling the defence well.

“Not much got past them in the second game,” he said.

As good as it was to win, the day was more about providing another opportunity and avenue for the women to show off their skills.

May remarked how much the women’s game has grown locally, with this years competition to feature four first grade teams and 10 reserve grade teams.

“Six years ago they were playing six-a-side football,” he said.

“Now there’s 14 teams playing full side and 90 minutes.”

Oxley Vale Attunga coach Tim Coates was looking after the Tamworth men’s side, which featured players from the three local premier league clubs.

Tamworth have won the silverware three of the four years since it’s return, and once again it came down to them and South Armidale (representing Armidale), with both sides undefeated heading into the final game.

The home side got the win 3-1, Mushies striker Adam Watson sealing it with a cheeky shot past the advancing keeper from just outside the box that slowly dribbled into the goal.

Two weeks out from the competition kick-off, Coates said the tournament was a good opportunity to “get a few miles in the legs and get a bit of camaraderie.”

“We just ran with a 15-man squad for the day,” he said.

“Everyone did their job.”

The two-goal win in their final game followed wins over Kamilaroi (5-nil), Quirindi (5-nil) and Gunnedah (2-1), while Armidale accounted for Quirindi 3-nil, Kamilaroi 3-1 and Gunnedah 6-3.