Cobram’s best young soccer players took to the field in Shepparton to compete in the CLFA Country Championships on the long weekend.
The young guns represented the Cobram Junior Soccer Association valiantly at the multi-million-dollar John McEwen Reserve over three days.
A series of tough games saw the side lose all of its matches, but the Cobram players learnt a lot and played well against strong country leagues.
And although the under-12 players didn’t take away any silverware, coach Chrissie Kalz was impressed with their effort on and off the ball.
‘‘We were unlucky in some respects that we didn’t come a way with a win, because we were very competitive and haven’t entered a team in that tournament for a number of years, so to give them a new experience in that competitive domain was great,’’ she said.
‘‘It was good for them and we were competitive for a lot of it. We were a bit unlucky in a few of the games where we hit the crossbar and things like that.’’
Players represented the league from as far away as Finley and Yarrawonga, and stood up for the league well.
‘‘It was important for us just to see what the opposition was like and to see what it’s like to play high level soccer, and obviously a learning experience, like getting to play under lights which they hadn’t done before,’’ Kalz said.
‘‘McEwen Reserve is an amazing set-up and with fantastic facilities — they held about six different age groups there at the one time, which was fantastic.
‘‘Now we’re back into normal Saturday soccer as of this week, so they’ll play in their normal teams and go back to the round-robin format, before in around October there could be more representative soccer.’’
The Country Leagues Football Association championships have run since 1978 and is a prestigious tournament.
The tournament was held for under-11 to 16-years-old for boys, and for under-12, under-14 and under-16 for the girls.