Coffs welcomes back nation’s finest young female footballers
AUSTRALIA’S most esteemed junior football tournament for girls is returning to Coffs Harbour.
Monday morning will see the Westfield National Youth Championships for Girls kick off at C.ex Coffs International Stadium for the 11th straight year, with more than 300 of Australia’s best young female footballers in the 13 years and 15 years divisions vying for a national title.
The tournament involves 20 teams from around Australia and is again being co-hosted by Northern NSW Football and Coffs Harbour City Council with State Government support from Destination NSW.
Northern NSW Football chief executive David Eland says the tournament is timely as he expects participation numbers in female football to receive a boost in the near future.
“Female football will be showcased at the Rio Olympics in August and we expect to see a further rise in the number of females playing our sport as a result of the success of the Matildas qualifying for Rio,” Eland said.
“With a technical panel consisting of FFA coaching staff in attendance throughout the week, the championships provide young female players with the opportunity for identification for future Australian team camps and the potential to one day represent our country at the highest level.”
Although when it comes to picking a winner of the two divisions, Eland wears his heart on his sleeve for the local team.
“Northern NSW Football will be striving to follow up with another strong performance following the recent success of the Emerging Jets at the recent NTC Challenge in Canberra,” he said.
The influx of players, officials, family members and football lovers will again provide a major boost to the local economy.
“Past indicators suggest that this event brings in the vicinity of $1.1 million to our city, which highlights the economic significance of attracting events of national significance to Coffs Harbour,” said Coffs Harbour City Council’s Daniel Heather.