Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts are celebrating a double-dose of history after the school’s boys and girls football teams took out the NSW CHS Schools Football Cup on Wednesday night.
The triumph marked the first time a school’s boys and girls team had won both competitions in the same year.
The boys prevailed 3-0 over Karrabar High thanks to a Tom Darjani hat-trick, while the girls came back from a goal down to defeat Burwood Girls High 3-1.
Coach Phil Saunders said the magnitude of the teams’ achievements only started to sink in during the trophy presentation.
“It’s the first time any school has made it to both grand finals, let alone win it,” Saunders said. “It’s probably an achievement that will never be emulated again.
“The school is so proud of the kids, they’ve been so supportive. We had over 50 staff and 100 students travel up to Sydney for the finals, we definitely had the loudest supporters, which drove the players.”
The school’s girls side was filled with a number of the Illawarra’s most talented junior female football players, including Australian representative Mary Fowler. The boys, on the other hand, are simply a group of mates who bonded throughout the competition and were able to improve with each performance, Saunders said.
“The boys team is a really tight group of friends, they’ve travelled around NSW, to Sydney and Dubbo, it’s really galvanised them. There’s a number of born leaders in the team and it helped get them over the line.”