Wombarra teen Sofia Fante played a crucial role for her side as NSW Metro won the under 16 National Youth Football Championships in Wollongong.
The under 16s final was the last bit of action of the tournament in Wollongong with a rematch of the game from the opening day between NSW Metro and Victoria. In the end, the final finished 5-0 the way of NSW Metro.
It was a stellar performance from Junior Matildas player Sienna Dale, who was rewarded after the final with the 'player of the tournament' award.
NSW Metro of course featured Wombarra's Sofia Fante in goals. The Junior Matilda was looking to impress the scouts including her national team coach Rae Dower along with others.
"I'm absolutely ecstatic," she told the Mercury post game.
"It was a great tournament, obviously finished off with a very strong score line. So that's always good. I definitely think we got what we deserved in the end.
"I didn't have much to do because obviously it's a very strong team. But when I had to do something, I feel like I did [do something]."
The FNSW Institute player added that she had a great time at the tournament in her home region.
"It was really good to be playing here and obviously the best players all across the country came down this week and it was really good."
It was a repeat of the under 16 final in the under 14 A's with NSW Metro again facing Victoria. The NSW side featured Corpus Christi High School student Gabi White as well as Albion Park's Sophie Bailey.
Whilst the result went the wrong way for NSW Metro in the under 14 A's final, the 14-year-old said that it was a brilliant week all round.
"I'm so proud. It's just an unreal feeling to make the final anyway. Even though we lost, we still played really well so it was good," Bailey said.
"It was good to have the opportunity for the national scouts to watch and I just enjoyed myself and gave it all I could. It was so special being in Wollongong. It was great playing in front of a home crowd."
Bailey featured in Illawarra Stingrays under 16 premiership winners this season and will be back in the under 18s for 2024.
Other Illawarra products that competed in the tournament this week included Cambewarra's Emily Zerafa and Jamberoo's Romany Jansens.
In the under 14 B's final, Capital Football triumphed against Queensland 3-2.
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