Cup breaks new ground for women?s football
By GREG WHITE
COFFS Coast Tigers broke new ground on the weekend hosting the inaugural Women's Cup.
Designed to promote senior women's football while giving coaches a pre-season glance at the talent available, this year's 10-team event is expected to double in size when next held.
Tigers president David Wilson said once the word got around, teams from Far North Coast and the Gold Coast rushed to be included.
"It was too late to embrace them in this tournament but in 2007, it's a different matter," he said.
Squads representing Corindi, Woolgoolga, Northern Storm, Sawtell, Boambee, Nambucca, Bellingen and the host club took part while Coffs United Lionesses fronted with two teams.
Coffs United Red defeated Tigers 1-0 in the extra time grand final to claim the $1000 winner's cheque but it was in the play-off for third where Wilson said things became interesting.
"Under the rules, the participants drop a player at set intervals if there's no result," Wilson said.
"Woopi and Sawtell kept shedding players until there were just two left from each club on the field.
"At that point we took pity and called it a draw."
Wilson said the Tigers were surprised by the attendance of a Gold Coast agency who spot talent for overseas clubs.
"They tapped quite a few on the shoulder and while no promises were made, the contacts have been established," he said.
"The company recently placed 10 girls on scholarships in the United States and have influence in Japan and other Asian countries."
The Tigers chief agreed while organising these events was always risky his club was stunned how quickly it had taken off.
"In the beginning, no one knew what to expect," Wilson said.
"Now it looks like it could become our crowning glory."