Big challenges at football champs
FOUR Granite Belt footballers have done the region proud by playing in the Under-19s Darling Downs teams for the state championships.
Mark Spiller from Ballandean FC said three of these players were their own.
The Granite Belt players who took part included Anika Spiller, Ellice Oreall, Brody Pearce and Ben Rametta. The Under-19s girls beat Capricornia 3-1 to finish ninth in the championships, which ran from May 25 to 28 at Logan's Meakin PArk.
The boys, meanwhile, lost their final game to the Sunshine Coast 2-1.
"The girls did okay, there were ten teams in the competition and they came ninth," Spiller said.
He said this was still a good effort considering they're from more regional communities than many of the teams.
"The amount of training sessions and time they spent together, they had a good time and the experience was great," Spiller said.
The boys team, however, enjoyed a strong championship.
"The highlight of the event was the boys and they got runner up," Spiller said.
"It was really good, really pleasing to see."
Spiller said the Granite Belt girls had been representing the region in the school-based competition for four years and would have one last shot next year.
He said it was great to see Stanthorpe players make it to such high levels.
"It gives everyone hope here that there is pathways to the next level if you're keen enough, if you're talented enough and you want to work hard," he said.
"It's not only about football, it's about life in general as well. You have to mix with other people.
"You're dealing with different coaches, different players, so it's a life experience."
His wife, Julie Spiller said as players weren't simply selected, getting through the rigorous trial process to begin with was a great feat.
"It's good because... they have to go to trials, you don't just get selected," she said.
"It's good for the kids (to experience) even if they don't get to that level."