Northern NSW Football is delighted to announce the recipients of its Local Champion Awards for June.
The NNSWF Local Champion Awards are a monthly recognition of individuals and teams who make a difference across the football family as we thank them for their commitment to their club, team, community and football.
TEAM OF THE MONTH
HALLIDAYS POINT FC ALL AGE WOMEN
Every successful club needs a team like Hallidays Point FC’s All Age Women’s side.
The club’s women’s team are a shining example of what community club football should be all about.
The All Age Women’s team have worked hard to create a positive culture to support their female players as well as foster a positive relationship with their young up and coming players.
This outlook has ensured everyone involved in the squad feels safe, respected and heard every time they show up to training or a game.
The team have also led the way off the field. The All Age Women’s team raised more than $1000 after participating in Ks for RUOK? last July.
The team have a strong belief in the importance of starting conversations about mental health to ensure their players are doing well off the pitch and feel comfortable making it known when they are not coping with life or anything happening in their world.
It was a conscious decision to build a certain type of culture within the team when it was born three years ago. Team captain Jess Evans said it was the best team to be part of and her teammates deserved all the recognition they could get.
“We started the team three years ago and we’ve got bigger and better every year,” Evans said.
“Our idea was that we just wanted it to be a place where people could come and they’re not expected to be the best footballer but just be willing to give it a go, listen and always be respectful.
“We also have a really strong focus on mental health and have lots of discussions on how people are traveling. We’ve had people join the team from other clubs because they’ve heard what a nice environment we have and how supported people feel.
“Sometimes women’s football loses people to a pressure to perform. But we didn’t have a strong underpinning female program so we’ve had lots of people join us who haven’t touched a ball or not played since they were 12. We want them to feel safe enough to experiment with their technique and most importantly keep coming back.”
The All Age Women’s team’s club spirit is reflected in the community as a whole. Hallidays Point is a small area, but Evans said the Barracudas had developed into a beautiful club.
“I think our ladies team is an extension of that,” Evans said.
“Our team in particular are so welcoming. We’ve got some younger players coming through now and we’re trying to make sure women stay in the game.
“Retention in women’s football is generally poor for many reasons but if you feel safe, respected as a person and a player you’re more likely to return which is great for the team and the club which makes it a beautiful place to be and to play football.”
The best part of the team though, according to Evans, are the giggles.
“You could be having the worst day and we’ve had a few rough ones this year. But when you turn up the team makes you laugh and happy, it helps you escape those moments for two hours with them. It’s the absolute best,” Evans said.
“Our coach Matt [Gordon] says all the time it’s more than football. We’re an extended family.”
Krista is a wonderful volunteer who takes on any duties required by the club.
She coaches both her children’s teams, helps run the canteen, organises gala days and anything else needed by the club among her own busy personal and work life.
Krista even managed to pull together the club’s canteen roster on her flight home to Canada, a trip she was making for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Krista inspires others to jump on board and enjoy the pleasure of volunteering.
Nick has been acknowledged for his hard work, commitment and performances as a referee and assistant referee.
He is developing so well that he has already been appointed as an assistant referee on Premier League reserve grade matches in Tamworth where he performed with distinction.
His efforts as a referee have also been highly praised including compliments from team coaches who have travelled to Tamworth from the Hunter region for matches in the HIT Northern League One youth competition.
Nick is a deserving winner of this month’s award and, with his ability and continued hard work, is destined to go far as a match official.
Greta Branxton FC have been a key driving in working with Hunter Valley Football, Cessnock City Council and local members on lighting issues.
The club have funded a large sum of money on lighting for Miller Park 1 and 2 to get the ground up to council standard.
This saw the club hosts its first night competition games of the season last month.
Greta Branxton FC also work hard as a club to ensure their members enjoy the best possible football experience.
Marcus has been at the club for a number of years and has held almost every role available, watching the club grow in that time.
He coaches the club’s A-grade men’s team as well as the under-18s boys. Marcus also never misses an opportunity to help other teams in the club, taking on the under-12s role to help build their development and skills as they enter their first year of competitive football.
Marcus also helps run Wauchope FC’s Summer 6s program and is always there for kids and other coaches around the club.
Kaidyn lives and breathes football. He trains every day and is a team player.
Kaidyn plays in midfield or as a striker and often hits the target. He always shakes everyone’s hand after every match and is a positive influence.
He also looks to improve every week and works on what he could have done better each week at training.
Kaidyn has a heart of gold and is a worthy winner of this month’s award.
Northern NSW Football Community Football Manager Ross Hicks congratulated the recipients and thanked them for their contribution to football in northern NSW.
“Without people like Krista, Nick, Marcus and Kaidyn as well as clubs like Hallidays Point FC and Greta Branxton FC we wouldn’t have a game. They make football what it is in our region,” Hicks said.
“It is their commitment to their clubs, teams and football community that make the game and improves the experience of playing football for the people around them.
“We thank them for their contribution and congratulate them on being named NNSWF Local Champion Awards winners for June. We wish them all the very best for the rest of the 2022 season.”
Monthly award winners are also nominated for the annual Local Champion Awards in October.