Gabby ? star of two states
By GREG WHITE
WOOLGOOLGA High School's football sweeper Gabby Dickinson has brought back a fund of stories from her tour of duty in the Bill Turner Trophy series.
Named 'Auscraft Medallist' as the tournament's star player, Gabby said there was no room for the faint-hearted in many of the matches.
In fact, so tough was some of the action she found herself after one tangle being handed a red card.
"My closest rival during the tournament was Taleah Doyle, the big name from Hunter Sports High and we had a couple of personal duels," she said.
"Some choice words were exchanged in matches which was good as we could challenge each other.
"She was pretty cut up when we got so close but got some revenge making the under-17 training squad while I missed out."
Gabby's performance had critics raving - particularly series patron Bill Turner - who contacted the Coffs Coast Advocate to offer praise.
"She (Gabby) was the stand-out player of the finals," Turner said.
"There's a great mix of aggression and skill in her makeup and many times she was the difference between Woolgoolga being swamped or hanging in."
Before Woolgoolga's tie with Westfields Sports High ? the match that placed them equal third in the state ? Gabby knew she was in contention for the Auscraft Medal.
"I needed three points to be certain of winning," she said.
"They gave me the points and I ended up getting across the line by one."
But Bill Turner said it had been one particular match in Woolgoolga's winning run that had taken the tournament to another level.
"We cover 16 areas within the eastern soccer states but until now, the Queensland schools have always been the under-achievers," he said.
"Then, Woolgoolga went to Toowoomba to beat Harristown State 1-0 and this appears to have encouraged the northerners to pour more resources into the competition from next year."
Gabby Atkinson won't be part of Woopi's next challenge for the Bill Turner Trophy, moving up the age grades for 2007.
"Five of us are moving up to the Puma Cup," she said. "But there's a great group of players still eligible and ready to get to the next level."