Smiles of satisfaction as Ipswich kids able to play
SEEING the kids enjoy their futsal again provided immense satisfaction for regional officials like Sheridan Victor.
Having all six teams from the Ipswich Futsal Academy display their character was just as pleasing, led by the victorious under-13 girls.
The Academy teams responded brilliantly at the Northern Regional titles, able to play together for the first time since the state titles in January.
COVID-19 restrictions had shut down the indoor sport for months before the Ipswich Academy combinations impressed. The six sides competed under the West Moreton Ipswich banner, among 119 challenging teams.
The Ipswich under-13 girls capped a fine Academy performance by beating a determined Logan side 3-2 in the grand final.
"These girls played some amazing futsal over the weekend,'' Victor said, watching them at Mt Warren Park.
"Their win was built on defence, only conceding four goals in the pool stages of the tournament.
"This is quite an achievement as this is a very young team with some of the members only being 10 years old.''
The tournament was the first held since the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Ipswich was represented by a boys team in under 10 and two sides in under-13 at either Oxley, Mt Gravatt or Carrara.
The Ipswich girls showcased their skills in the under-13, under 15 and under 18 competitions at Mt Warren Park.
All six Ipswich teams finished first or second in their pools before reaching the semi-finals.
The U13 Black Boys team and the U13 and U18 girls sides were undefeated.
"Unfortunately for our 13 boys the draw was unkind to us and the teams ended up playing each other in one of the semi-finals,'' Victor said.
The under-13 Black team beat Ipswich's U13 Green to reach the grand final.
However, Ipswich Black lost their grand final 7-4 to West Moreton, having backed up after playing their teammates in the semi.
In their grand final, Ipswich's under-13 girls led 2-0 early before Logan fought back to equalise.
With a couple of minutes left to go, the girls dug deep and worked the ball down the court together to score and secure victory.
The U18 girls bowed out 9-3 to South Brisbane in a physical and tough encounter.
After another successful weekend for Ipswich futsal sides, Victor said the hope was for more competition as indoor venues reopen for sport.
"It was really good to see,'' Victor said. "They were all so keen to get back into it and they had a really good time.''
The Academy is starting up again in Term 3.
Players interested in joining the Academy can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Facebook and Instagram pages.
Victor was also delighted the Ipswich Academy had acquired quality coaches the likes of Connor George, Georgia Buchanan, Adam Clay and Andy Sinclair.
She is keen to see more players share their experience as the sport gains more access to regional indoor facilities.
That's why Ipswich Futsal arranged to have teams contest the Northern Regional tournament.
"We were just looking for somewhere for the kids to be able to play,'' she said, praising the organisers for pressing ahead under difficult COVID circumstances.
"They were proactive the whole time, which was really good.''