Future of Kiama football shines bright at jersey presentation

Just days before the South Coast Group 7 Mod League grand finals, the Kiama Junior Knights have marked the occasion with a special jersey presentation for the Under 10-2s, Under 10s Girls League Tag and Under 12s Girls League Tag teams.

More than 100 players, family and friends attended the event at the Kiama Leagues Club last night, with Life member Flash Ashmore, PLayNRL Officer Chey Hatch, and Kieran Poole, Tom Atkins, Daniel Martin and Alana Glasson from the Kiama Senior Knights presenting the jerseys to the players.

On Saturday, the Kiama Knights Under 10-2s will take on Berry at Cec Glenholmes Oval at 9:30am.

According to co-coach Marc Laird, the team have had a great year.

"To see the improvement from the first round through to the end of the season has been really pleasing," he said.

"At the beginning of the year we had two or three boys doing a lot of the work but as the season progressed, we put a focus on team work and everyone pitching which has seen the boys get to the grand final on Saturday.

"Throughout the year, we have had one defeat and one draw against Berry and ten wins. Things haven't always gone our way but the boys play with passion and great determination.

"We also had the opportunity to play at WIN Stadium and at Jubilee Oval before the St George Illawarra Dragons which the boys loved and will remember for a long time.

"It has been an enjoyable season - watching the boys develop has been extremely rewarding.

"Regardless of the result, both Steve and I are proud of the boys and hope they enjoy the experience of playing in their first ever grand final," said Marc.

I must say my biggest achievement is definitely cutting down the cartwheels and dance moves throughout training

The Under 10s Girls League Tag team will play Stingrays in their decider at Warilla at 11:40am.

Coach Lachlan Payne said the side had grown over the season.

"At season start, I wondered what I had gotten myself into - fourteen nine year old girls, with very little experience," he said.

"But after a few weeks, I started to work out the personalities of each of the players, and have made great inroads with them all. I must say my biggest achievement is definitely cutting down the cartwheels and dance moves throughout training.

"We started off the season strongly with a few wins but we then then lost a couple, although the girls were pretty consistent for most of the season.

"We had speed to burn but there is plenty more needed than speed - we needed team work and our defence needed a lot of work.

"One day when Chittick Oval was closed, we hit the Kendall's stairs, ran some hill sprints and even held a chin up competition - the girls loved it.

"Fitness became one of our major focuses along with tagging, as I tell them fitness and defence will win you games.

"From there our season changed - we were playing as well as some of the top teams.

"We proved this when we took on the undefeated Stingrays. Knowing last time they put 40 on us, I was hoping for an improvement but beating them on the full time siren was certainly a pleasant surprise.

"This started an impressive three weeks for our team - we drew with Sussex Inlet in our final round match before beating them in the minor semi with a full length runaway try on the buzzer.

"In our final last week, the girls led from start to finish with their best team performance yet, taking out a 22-16 victory to book their place in the grand final.

"It's amazing to see how far we have come. Each week we talk about not giving up and enjoying it out there.

"Going into the grand final with momentum and such team spirit will give us an edge but it won't be easy bringing home the silverware. Whatever the result, these girls continue to show a great attitude and club spirit.

"The girls and I are lucky to have such great support not only from the parents but the Club. I'm sure the girls will never forget their first grand final week."

Finally, the Under 12 Girls League Tag team will play Stingrays Green at 1.30pm.

According to Cindy Brookfield, the girls this season have been such a pleasure to coach.

"We set some tough team goals at the start of the year and the girls worked hard all season to achieve them," said Cindy.

"Their skills have continued to grow and the team combinations on the field are a delight to watch. The great team attitude and commitment have lead us to finish the competition as undefeated minor premiers this season.

"I am keen to see the girls continue with the same spirit and see if we can pull off a Knights set in the grand final.

"I'm grateful for our teams officials who have conducted themselves with such integrity and support to our girls, which had created a fun and enjoyable season for us all."