TWO Taree sides, the under 10 boys and under 14 girls, made it through to the quarter finals of the State Junior Cup touch football tournament played at Port Macquarie.
Seven of Taree's 10 teams qualified for the round of 16.
Taree Touch president Graham Goodwin said this was a great performance for a small association.
“When they get deep into the tournament our teams fall of the pace a bit because they’re not used to playing at that standard,’’ he said.
“The Sydney teams, Newcastle and Wollongong are playing at a higher level week-in-week-out and we just can’t match that. But it was still a great effort from our sides, I was proud of them all.’’
All 10 teams started training last October and also played tournaments at Taree and Nelson Bay as preparation for the cup. Taree also provided 11 referees for the three day tournament.
This format for the junior cup will change next year with the tournament to be split into north and south sections. Port will host the northern division. It is expected the event will again be held in February, although this has yet to be confirmed.
However, Mr Goodwin said while there will be less sides involved, the standard will still be strong.
“We’ll still be getting some Sydney associations at Port while Central Coast, Newcastle and Nelson Bay will also be there,’’ he said.
Taree Touch will conduct trials for next year’s State Cup in October. Mr Goodwin expects Taree to again field teams in all 10 divisions.
Taree players are strongly represented in Northern Eagles under 14, 16 and 18 squads to play in trials for teams to contest the junior regional championships later this year.
Players were accessed at the Northern Eagles Championships played at Taree in January and last weekend’s State Junior Cup.
Taree players involved in the trials are: 14 girls Charlotte Mayo, Haylee Brabant, Imogen Nelson, Lucy Green, Sienna Limpic, Tilley Hunter, Amarley Bron, Abby Watts; 14 boys Ethan Ferguson, Charlie Dignam, Navren Willett, William Holden; 16 girls Faith Saunders, Tahlia Holborrow, Bree Pensini; 16 boys Jake Ferris, Jarred Gibson, Ryan Young; 18 girls Olivia Stewart, Priya Bourke; 18 boys Harrison Lewis, Blake Elford.
Forster-Tuncurry representatives are Gabrielle Edwards, Ariella White (14 girls); Jade Astorini (16 girls), Khan Ridgeway (16 boys); Ashleigh Chambers, Grace Camilleri, Abby Whitton (18 girls); Hayden Amato, Max Buderus, Clayton Cooper (18 boys).
Meanwhile Taree’s junior and senior mixed semi-final series will be underway from next Monday.
This will culminate in the grand finals to be played on Monday March 5.
There was a general bye this week in all competitions.