Lake Macquarie’s Silver Linings Playbook

The Lake Macquarie Women’s Opens side were all smiles after their Grand Final defeat having gone through the whole Senior State Cup tournament with nine players.

With only one sub the entire weekend, the girls made it through to the Women’s Opens division two Grand Final – a courageous performance of which they lost 4-1 to Newcastle.

After an exhausting eight games, a few injuries and a lot of gutsy efforts, the girls were recognised as champions in their own right – having made themselves and their association extremely proud.

Not long before the tournament, the original team began to fold due to injuries and the inability to commit to the revised dates, leaving their coach, Tempe Oke worried about numbers.

But these women were committed and willing to give the tournament a crack, prompting them to welcome one player from the players pool and take on day one with a team of ten.

Knowing well what a difficult task this was, Lake Macquarie Licensee, Peter Roberts was first to praise the efforts of these girls.  

“They ended up playing ninety per cent of their games with eight players after one had to head home on the Friday and another got injured,” Roberts said.

“I was proud that they made the Quarters, so hearing they made the Grand Final was very exciting,”

“Win or lose, they did a great job,” he said.

Lake Macquarie Open Womens side

Having only lost one game all weekend, it goes without saying that this team is talented. But what got them to the big dance was their tenacity to play for each other.

“Their friendship and their teamwork would have gotten them through,” Roberts said.

Oztag Founder, Perry Haddock was extremely impressed by the effort put forward by this bunch of girls.  

“I became aware that they were playing with nine as they were running across the field to their Grand Final,” Haddock said.

“From my experience, it is so hard to win the tournament with 16, let alone nine,”

“At one stage, they were playing with eight – It was just unbelievable,” he said.

Australian Oztag (AO) congratulate these girls on their display of determination and grit. They created their own silver lining amidst the circumstance and wore their jerseys with pride – an honest credit to themselves and Lake Macquarie Oztag.  

According to Peter Roberts, it is the association’s eighth year competing at a representative level. As their numbers continue to grow, Lake Macquarie teams are climbing the ladders and jumping divisions.    

“The girls have come back keen, excited for the next tournament and there’s other players wanting to play, so we’re hoping to keep the ball rolling,” Roberts said.

“People are now under the belief that we can go away and be competitive, even if we don’t have a full team,” he said.

Lake Macquarie Oztag are set to take 14 teams away to the NSW Junior State Cup in 2021; AO wish them the best of luck.