Football team spirit kicks on after grand final win
FOOTBALL: Overseeing a team with a number of new players and a set of identical twins, Ipswich Knights coach Ian Slape wasn't sure what to expect this season.
However, after seeing how well the girls performed, he was happy they will celebrate their latest success together at an end of season camp.
Beating Jimboomba 1-0 in the recent Football Brisbane Under-16 Division 1 Girls Plate grand final at Darra was a fitting reward.
Starting the season among 13 teams in Division 1, the Knights were separated into a Plate series after the first round.
The mix of 15 and 16 year-old players accepted the mid-season challenge, progressing to the grand final, before becoming 2018 Plate champions.
Given some new faces in the side and how players regularly move on in the 16 years age group, Slape was impressed with their team spirit.
"Every year we lose half of them and we go looking for more,'' Slape said, having coached at the Knights for the past five years.
"I've had only two of the girls for four years. The rest have come and gone in between that time.
"They bonded well together and they can be proud of what they've achieved after that.
"Half of them hadn't looked at each other before this time last year and it's just the way they've come together and the friendships they have formed.
"They'll take them forward to wherever they end up.''
The Knights combination included a group of players from the church league competition.
Slape's daughter Chelsea was a part of the side.
The team also featured sisters Brooke and Taylor Robbins.
"We were blessed with a pair of identical twins,'' the coach said. "It was always fun to tell them apart.''
The coach said having Brooke in goals and Taylor playing fullback made it a bit easier to identify them.
The team was captained by centre midfielder Georgia Maynard with striker Breanne Clarke being the team's top goal scorer with 16.
Delighted with how the girls united, Slape was happy to continue a recent club tradition. That is to share their season achievements at Somerset Dam.
"In November, we're taking them water skiing and camping to celebrate,'' Slape said.
"We've done it for a couple of years. They plan the next year as soon as they leave the previous year.''