Northern Zone looking for back-to-back crown

Last year proved victory for the Northern Zone, now they’re looking for a repeat.PICTURES: PETER ARGENT
By Peter Argent

Reigning champions, the North Zone women’s side for the 2022 SA Country Football Championships in Whyalla will again have a strong and significant Broken Hill contingent.

Phil Neal, the title winning Northern Zone co-coach 2021 at Victor Harbour with Anthony Tidball will continue in this role as co-coach in ’22.

Neal has been involved in the Northern Zone of the country championships . The women’s program was inaugurated at Remark back in 2018.

This year, Neal will be joined in the coaching role by Jake Peters, who is the senior coach of the South Broken Hill Roos Women’s A grade side.

“Our runner for the Championships will be Central Magpies coach Ethan Kimble and Jan Corey will undertake the Team Managers duties,” Neal explained.

“[There are] Four girls from the Spenser Gulf area, three that played last year, but the great majority of the squad is from Broken Hill women’s football competition.

“We’re confident that we’re moulding a good group to compete strongly at this year’s event.

“We have a solid and settled backline.

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“Our midfield group has plenty of pace and footy smarts.

“There are strong marking options up forward and good crumbing players.

“Also there are a number of options to rotate through the midfield area and close any gaps that may pop up!”

In the ’22 squad includes an impressive nine players for the Central Magpies – Ashleigh Anderson, Teagan Coombes, Emma Camalari, Phoebe Knell, Daisy Tyrrell, Georgia Ward, Shelby

Raven and Sasha Harrington – who are currently undefeated ladder leaders in the Broken Hill Women’s competition.

From the West Robins are ruck Penny Billings, Paige Cuy and Sophie Palmer, while Development team player at North Adelaide, Rebecca Deer, teenager Ava Hinton, Ellie Simmons and Makayla Berg are from the North Broken Hill Bulldogs.

Player selected from the South Broken Hill Roos include Mel Keenan, who missed out on the 2021 success due to a broken foot, along with ruck Paris Ralph and defender Abbey Stevens.

“Paige Cuy, Paris Ralph, Shelby Raven, Makayla Berg, Abbey Stevens and Phoebe Knell all has been involved all four years of the Northern Zone women’s team,” Neal continued.

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“Ashleigh (Anderson), Penny (Billings) and Sophie Palmer also enjoyed the success last year at Victor Harbour.

“Utility, Daisy Tyrrell and defender, Georgia Ward are going to travel to Whyalla for their first championships.

“Players including Teagan Coombes, Emma Camalari, Mel (Keenan) and Sasha Harrington played in the first two tournaments at Renmark and Port Pirie, but missed the success at Victor, so they will have some extra motivation to have a successful trip.

“There are a couple more spots in the squad still to be decided and they will be made during the next week.”

The Northern Zone women’s side starts its tournament with a clash against Southern at Bennett Oval, starting at 11.30am and have their second game against South East at 1.40pm

If they win both matches, they play in the Women’s Championships Final at 11.30 am on Sunday at the same venue.

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