World Cup announcement sparks excitment

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When last week’s news came through that Australia and New Zealand would be hosting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, few were more excited than the soccer-mad girls at St. John Bosco Catholic College in Engadine.

After waking up in the early hours of the cold 25 June morning to watch the announcement live, there was no going back to sleep after hearing FIFA President Gianni Infantino deliver the good news.

Mr Aaron Poll, teacher and Southern Sydney Combined Catholic Colleges (SSCCC) Sports Association representative says he was met with some very excited students that day at school.

St. John Bosco College star Jaime Beaufils. PHOTO: Provided.

“One of our representative players, Jaime Beaufils came running up to me in the playground yelling, “We’ve got the world cup! We’ve got the world cup!” said Mr Poll.

“It’s a really good opportunity,” said Jaime. “Hopefully it will raise the games profile here and inspire more people to play.”

Jaime, a year 9 student wasn’t alone in her joy, with the school boasting an impressive number of talented soccer stars. Jaime, along with year 7 students Sophia Parker and Alisha Maunder, year 8 girls Ella Gair and Alivia Beath and year 11 star Jini Bell all play representative level soccer for various clubs in the Sutherland Shire.

The soccer-mad group all have their own dreams of one day representing Australia in the Matildas. They’re all very excited for the opportunity to see the best of Women’s soccer coming to Australia and New Zealand in just a few years’ time.
“When I found out, I was so excited,” recalled Sophia. “It’s an awesome opportunity to see the top players and to see where we can get if we keeping working hard.”

Year 11 student Jini Bell is in control on the ball. PHOTO: Provided.

“I’m really excited,” said Jini, who through her own representative team has had the opportunity to train with the Matildas and Aussie soccer great Craig Foster.

“It’s a great opportunity for us and for the future of Women’s footballing in Australia.”

Alisha Maunder faces off with the opposition. PHOTO: Provided.

The Combined Catholic Colleges Sports Association in Sydney and NSW offer a pathway for the girls to make it to the top. St. John Bosco College pride themselves on being a fierce competitor in Sydney’s southern region, boasting impressive performances in recent years.

All six girls were excited to hear the news and what it means for Women’s soccer in Australia.

“It will be amazing to see the Matildas play and the other countries playing here,” said Ella.

“It’s very exciting,” said Alivia. “A great opportunity for us and all girls who like to play soccer.”

Year 8 Student Ella Gair sends the ball long upfield. PHOTO: Provided

“It will be great to see all the women playing” said Alisha. “Very exciting for all of us.”

The announcement is great news for the whole country and some much needed good news in an otherwise grim time. With training for the girls only recently starting back up, the news has reinvigorated them and reminded them of what they’re all chasing. A chance to represent Australia and play as one of the Matildas.