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Locals' bold showing

Wednesday, 9th June, 2010

*Jasmine Simmons was a standout for the Barrier team at the recent NSW PSSA State Girls Football Carnival. *Jasmine Simmons was a standout for the Barrier team at the recent NSW PSSA State Girls Football Carnival.

The Barrier girls soccer team has gained the attention of State PSSA officials with a spirited showing at the recent NSW PSSA Soccer Carnival in Bateau Bay. The girls travelled 1,200km to take part in the carnival, which got off to an unusual start after days of heavy rain forced games to be moved to a smaller indoor venue. The change in venue resulted in games being played in a reduced format, forcing the girls to adapt to playing an unfamiliar style of soccer. “Most of our girls had never played a game of indoor soccer before,” said team coach Troy Perkins. “Instead of 11 players on a field, we now had only five players on a court. It was a big learning curve but we all adjusted really well.” The Barrier girls competed against primary school teams selected from zones across NSW such as Riverina, South Coast, and various Sydney metropolitan areas. Stand out players for Barrier included the sweeper/centre back combination of Jamie Dickson (Burke Ward) and Anna Vartuli (Baronga), and goalie Ainsley Files (Morgan Street). “Ainsley must have saved over 50 goals with the gloves,” said Mr Perkins. “Together this strong and resilient defence ensured that goals conceded were kept to a minimum.” In attack Sydney King (Morgan Street) had a consistent carnival and scored a memorable goal, while Georgia Pearce (Alma) and Indianna Paull (Burke Ward) impressed through the midfield and demanded respect from their bigger opponents. Barrier’s best player for the carnival was Morgan Street’s Jasmine Simmons, who led the team’s goal scoring tally and produced numerous attacking runs. “Jasmine was our most significant player and team leader for 2010,” said Mr Perkins. “She won the attention and respect of players and coaches from all regions of NSW. “Jasmine scored four classic goals over the tournament and made many explosive breakaways.” The talented youngster’s outstanding carnival caught the eye of selectors, and almost clinched a place in the NSW State team. Jasmine was selected amongst the top 22 players in the State, which were then broken into two teams of 11 to play off in a final selection game. Members of the Barrier team stood in pouring rain to cheer on their teammate in the final game, however Jasmine just missed out on making the final team. Mr Perkins said she was unlucky to have missed out and praised all his players for their consistent application throughout the carnival. The girls’ efforts bolstered Barrier’s standing in the PSSA State competition, and the team’s improvement was noted by rival coaches, Mr Perkins said. “At the PSSA soccer managers’ meeting all parties recognised how the whole Barrier squad has moved forward in leaps and bounds since this time last year. “It just shows how strong girls’ soccer is becoming in our region. “We are so pleased that all our training and hard work paid off, well done to everyone involved.” Mr Perkins thanked Barrier team Manager Helen Files, Skills and Development Coach Grant Smith, and all the local sponsors who made the trip possible.

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