Nana Glen youngster Matthew Woodward has discarded the soccer boots in a bid to win a grand final in netball.
Nana Glen youngster Matthew Woodward has discarded the soccer boots in a bid to win a grand final in netball.

Teaming up with the girls

By STEVE ARCHBOLD

THE girls in the C-Shells division five netball team believe they have a secret weapon for their grand final against Westside Bolts tomorrow. Matthew Woodward, 10, a student at Nana Glen Primary School, will be the only boy involved in the junior grand finals at Murray Drive where premiers will be decided in seven divisions. Playing netball was the furthest thing from Matthew's mind when he started playing junior soccer this year with Orara Valley in the under nines. After soccer, Matthew would venture to the netball courts watching his sister play and his mum coach. "I started getting bored sitting around doing nothing so I asked could I have a game," Matthew said. "It took me about two weeks to get used to the rules but I was right after that." As grand finals aren't played in soccer until the under-10s Matthew is excited to be playing in a grand final for netball. Coach Tracy Young said Matthew has fitted into the team without any problems. "I try to make sure everyone plays in different positions during the season and Matthew will be having a run in defence in the grand final," she said. This will be Matthew's first and last Coffs Harbour grand final appearance as he will be moving to Kendall next year but he said he is keen to continue his netball career. "Netball is a fast and enjoyable game and not having any other boys around doesn't worry me because the girls are a lot of fun," Matthew said. "The boys don't stir me about it, either, but it wouldn't worry me if they did." As a soccer goalkeeper, Matthew is used to playing a defensive role. "It's good staying at the back trying to stop all the goals," he said. "It doesn't matter what sport I am involved in, I always get in there and try as hard as I can, that's what sport is all about. "Everyone will be giving it their best, if we win it will be a bonus."



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