When Banksia Tigers Football Club entered females in St George Association competitions for the first time this year it was simply designed to give women and girls an opportunity to play their favourite sport with their friends.
What happened next is a by-product only a faithful few could have predicted with Banksia Tigers women’s team completing the regular season undefeated and claiming the St George Premier Women’s League Premiership at their first attempt.
“We came in strong. We knew that we were going to go far and we came in with confidence. The result shows how we are as a family, as a team and as a club”, striker Fatima Hammoud said.
Coach Tarek Hijazi wasted no time taking a bunch of young women who’d played some football with other clubs and meshing them into a formidable black and yellow unit.
“I constructed the team strategically. I put a good base together. I thought we’d compete and make the Semi Finals but I think any coach would dream of this unbeaten run”.
Having already won the right to play in the Football NSW Champion of Champions tournament next month, the Tigers now turn their attention to another trophy as they take on defending champions Kogarah Waratahs in the St George Premier Women’s League Major Semi-Final at Carss Bush Park this Sunday, for a place in the Grand Final.
“Because it was the first Banksia girls’ team they didn’t think much of us but we gave them a shock.
“They will play really aggressively because they’re frustrated that we’re this good and they should be. We’re going to win this game”, Ms Hammoud said.
While winning is a bonus Banksia Tigers Football Club is just as proud of their Under 12 and Under 14 girls teams. Both finished their first seasons of competitive football mid-table despite most of the girls having never played before.
“Their defence is amazing. Their teamwork is amazing and their striking, we’ll get there, but they’ve done very well since the beginning of the season”, Under 12s coach Miriam Hariri said.
The Banksia Tigers’ Under 12 and Under 14 girls’ teams completed their inaugural seasons without being issued one caution. Now that’s a statistic of which any football team should be proud.