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ACG Parnell College’s first-ever girls football team has just kicked off their inaugural season, thanks to the efforts of a group of football-loving students and our dedicated sports coordinator Steph Trowill.
“I had a couple of girls ask me why we didn’t have a football team, and I thought to myself, ‘Well, why don’t we?’,” says Steph.
“I asked around to get a feel for how many girls might be interested and we got 14, plus Ryan Ghee and Kristoff Muller from the First XI put their hands up to coach. Having a team is giving many of these girls a chance to compete in football for the first time, and they are giving it their all to learn and be successful. Watching them play so far this season has been amazing, and I hope this is just the beginning for girls football at ACG Parnell.”
Although they are competing in the Senior B Grade, the team is made up of not just Year 11 to 13 students, but students from Year 8 up. For Year 13 player Hannah Nguyen mixed ages just adds to the appeal.
“I believe we have at least one person from every year group, and it is a delight to be able to get to know some of the younger girls,” she says. “They are full of energy and determination to play in the league as most of the other school teams are made up of seniors. We are all learning a lot from each other – not just in regard to football skills, but life skills too, and things that are happing in the world and at school.”
Originally from Vietnam, Hannah is one of the few team members who has previously played competitive soccer. In fact, not only has she been playing soccer since Year 8, but she has travelled to Cambodia and Hong Kong to compete in the sport.
Having the chance to play for ACG Parnell College is the icing on the cake.
“I’m so happy to be able to play interschool football here in New Zealand, as well as make friends with my teammates and improve my football skills.”
She is also loving the opportunity to see a little more of greater Auckland, including an upcoming trip to Waiheke Island where the team will go head to head against Waiheke High School.
“Everyone is so excited to be able to meet the Waiheke team and enjoy our time on the island. We are already discussing what snacks we will bring for our pre-game feast on the ferry!”
For Hannah and her fellow players, the ACG Parnell College girls football team is providing plenty to get excited about.
“I’m so happy that we have a football team and on behalf of the girls I can say that we’re having loads of fun in both training and matches. We are so grateful to Steph for making this happen and allowing us to make history at ACG Parnell.”