Tamworth mightn’t have figured in the reckoning for the State Under-18s Girls Championship silverware but on the strength of their performance at Newcastle on the weekend their prospects next year look bright.
The Garry Littlejohns-coached side finished seventh overall in Division 1 after drawing 1-all with Goulburn in their play-off game.
Littlejohns was happy with how his young side competed with only two of the side 17. The rest were 15 and 16.
They got off to a great start on Friday beating Newcastle 2-1 before going down to Illawarra South Coast, who were the top-ranked side heading into the tournament, 2-nil.
“We competed really well with them,” Littlejohns said.
It meant they needed a win and a draw at least from their final two pool games on Saturday to make the semi-finals. But their hopes faded with a 2-1 loss to Orange.
“We were 1-all with five minutes on the clock and let in a late goal. That pretty well cost us our weekend,” Littlejohns said.
A 1-all draw with Sydney East in their final game put them fourth in their pool on goal difference.
“I thought their structure was really good and their effort was really good,” Littlejohns said.
He also noted their scrambling defence.
They just switched off a couple of times at the wrong time.
“Just sometimes when you’re under the pump against big physical sides it’s hard to make smart decisions,” he said.
He was hesitant to single any players out but did make mention of Amber Witney and Chelsea Thornton.
Both were backing up from helping NSW win gold at the National Under-15 Championships, and featured strongly at either end of the pitch.
Thornton was strong in goals while Witney was good up front.
Gabby Hathway, Flo Davidson and Maddy Lewin were also strong all weekend but it was a really good team effort Littlejohns said.