ILLAWARRA Bungarra once again proved why they are a powerhouse of the women's footballing landscape, by claiming their fourth straight national title at the weekend.
The side, coached by Richard Davis, defeated the Newcastle All-Stars 3-2 on Saturday's National Indigenous Football Championships final at South Nowra's Ison Park.
"Winning our fourth straight title is very special and something that isn't lost on any of us," Davis said.
"We still have the nucleus of the original team, who continue to work hard and succeed as a group.
"The best thing about the continued success is the whole squad (bar one girl from Griffith) play in the Illawarra competition and are all local products - they are from here and want to play for their people.
"This team continues to allow young girls from the area to play on the national stage and get the recognition I know they deserve."
To add to their successful tournament, Bungarra's Brittany Ring took out the Kyah Simon Golden Boot Award, while Jess Garrett was named MVP of the competition.
But it was another one of his players that impressed Davis.
"Shakiah Tungai was awesome this tournament - to have her in our team is a massive benefit and we really appreciate her efforts," Davis said.
"She was part of the original team, along with players such as Brittany Ring, Tenaya Davis, Aleisha Chessell and Nicole McCracken, who appreciate how special it is to wear the Bungarra jersey.
"Shakiah is one of those athletes who's a natural at whatever she tries - she's a star at football as well as in rugby league, where she just made her Test debut with the Jillaroos."
While enjoying the fourth title, there's already talk of the group coming back next year to try for five straight.
"We have a good mixture of youth and experience in our side, with a lot already signalling their intentions to return next year," Davis said.
"In saying that, we aren't getting too ahead of ourselves - we all know there's plenty of hard work that goes into our success.
"Scoring goals is great but the most important thing is playing the way we want to play while staying humble.
"You can never underestimate any opposition - I've stressed the importance of respecting the Bungarra jersey, especially with the family connection to the area it has."
In the men's competition, Northern Nations FC, featuring Culburra's Tom Matthews and Huskisson-Vincentia's Lewis Archibald, edged Dubbo's Dhubu Dinawans in the decider 3-2.
The goals for the victors, a side which featured two-time Socceroo and 251-game A-League veteran Mark Bridge, were scored by Jade North Golden Boot winner and tournament MVP Matthew McNab as well as Garang Awac and Keifer Dotti, while Jake Ferguson and Nathan Daniels found the back of the net for the Dinawans.