CRAIG Shepherd admits it will be a tough ask for the Strikers under-17s to make it three Victorian titles in a row but they got off to a flying start last weekend, remaining undefeated in the country titles and conceding just one goal.
Shepherd included some development players in the squad but still came away with the title.
“It wasn’t our strongest squad, we wanted to give some of the girls a go at this level,” the coach said.
“Having said that, the standard of the country championships has improved and it’s no longer a walk in the park for our teams. The real test will be July when we play the best in the state.”
The under-17 Spitfires also proved too strong in their age division.
But it was the under-15 girls team, including eight state players (Maddi Creamer, Brittany Rosewarne, Eryn Norie, Emerald Beath, Emma Hooppell, Sara Lumby, Imogen Albon, Grace Ronnfeldt) who were the most dominant.
No one scored against them; they won their games 8-0, 5-0, 10-0, 7-0 and then 8-0 in the grand final.
The under-15 boys took home the silver medal, while the under-13 boys took home bronze. The under-13 Strikers, most competing in their first representative tournament, finished sixth.