FOOTBALL: The North Coast Football under-13s representative team made history at the weekend by winning the PS4 National Premier League Youth grand final in their first season of the competition.
After their 5-1 win against Newcastle Jets Youth the previous weekend, coach Joe Skrtic said it was their love and respect for the game which earned them a 3-0 win against Newcastle's Edgeworth Eagles in the finals.
"I'm very proud of our boys and for them to achieve what they have achieved, it goes to show that their team spirit and dedication to the game has paid off," Skrtic said.
NCF technical director Gary McGinnis said that from the start of the season it was obvious this was a talented squad.
"Everyone in this team has a strength and depth in all their positions which made this a successful season," he said. "It wasn't a case of two or three talented players, but a whole squad of talent."
Skrtic said the team's dedication for the competition was undeniable given the majority of their time was spent on the road.
"For our Maclean player, his day starts as early as 3.30am in order to catch the team bus from Grafton," he said.
"From there, we pick up team mates at Coffs Harbour, Nambucca Heads and Scotts Head before going on to play a 1pm game further down the coast.
"We then leave at about 5pm, so for those kids in the Clarence Valley, they often get home after midnight."
And it all began again on Monday, with trials organised to gain selection in the under-14s NPL team for next season.