Northern NSW Football U14s girls defeated Makati FC (Philippines) 1-0 to be crowned 2022 SingaCup champions in Singapore.
Coach Alex Nolan was delighted by the squad’s Singapore success, “Finals football is all about determination and bravery, and after losing 2-1 to Makati FC the day before, the team were pumped to be versing them again in the final.
The girls adapted to the oppositions’ playing style and dominated from start to finish. A moment of creativity from a set-piece was the difference and the girls came away champions,” Nolan said.
Dominant group stage performances earned grand final spot
Throughout the tournament Northern NSW Football displayed the focus, cohesion and self-belief needed to bring home the silverware.
Scoring an impressive 17 tournament goals and conceding only three, they lost just one game against Makati FC in the group stages, only to exact revenge on the Philippines based team in the final.
Group stage results
1 Northern New South Wales Football
2 Makati FC (Philippines)
3 Northern New South Wales Football
0 Tampines Titanides (Singapore)
1 Fremantle City (Western Australia)
6 Northern New South Wales Football
0 Football West (Western Australia)
7 Northern New South Wales Football
Coach Aleshia Lyons believes the SingaCup experience will be remembered fondly by the team.
“I can confidently say that every girl had a great time, the enthusiasm was evident throughout the whole trip, giving 100% to everything we did. From our training session on day one, to the tournament and activities between games, team meetings and meals; all the girls have gained a rich experience in Singapore,” Lyons said.
Golden Boot and MVP honours
Additional honours were handed to Northern NSW Players Ceanna Frost (Maitland FC) and Alexis Collins (Newcastle Jets) winning the Golden Boot and MVP respectively.
Frost described her on pitch heroics, scoring six tournament goals, as “amazing” and leaving positive feelings to take football further. “Being awarded the SingaCup Golden Boot was amazing and I hope to bring this form home next season.”
Collins was modest when reflecting on her multiple SingaCup honours “I was surprised to be named team captain, but it was good because I stepped up. It improved my communication, I was talking louder and more often on the field.”
I was also surprised to be name MVP, but very proud of myself too. I wasn’t expecting the awards, it’s awesome,” Collins said.
SingaCup opportunity to showcase Northern NSW Football talent
According to Head of Mission, Pete Haynes participating and winning the SingaCup will be a huge boost and pivotal for the squad’s development as footballers.
“The Northern squad’s success can be attributed to on-pitch creativity and bravery together with their genuine talent. The girls will bring home a lot of new football knowledge that they can take back to their clubs and grow further as leaders and players,” Haynes said.
Football friendships made from across Asia
The friendships made with players from across Asia were a highlight for many of the Northern NSW squad. Despite Makati FC being their closest SingaCup competition, the girls forged tight bonds during their time off the pitch in Singapore.
Alexis Collins explains “It was our first-time competing against teams outside of Australia and we loved playing against and getting to know the players from other teams. We had lots in common and I hope we’ll be able to stay connected.”
About the SingaCup and how others can get involved in 2023
SingaCup is an annual international youth football tournament, for boys and girls, held in Singapore.
The SingaCup seeks to showcase exciting football talent from Asia and beyond. Youth teams have the chance to test themselves in a competitive environment, impress the spectators and earn the opportunity to be identified for their talents.
Northern NSW Football’s SingaCup squads are selected through the Talent ID process. Talented players are coached and mentored to improve their football quality and depth in a high-performance local environment. Opportunities like the SingaCup further their development and improve football standards across our region.
Northern NSW Football will return to Singapore in 2023 with details to come throughout the 2023 Talented Support Program and Premier Youth League (PYL) seasons.