Players show touch of class at carnival
HERVEY Bay has taken a pragmatic view to its loss to Bundaberg in its annual touch football tournament on Sunday, stressing there are much bigger fish to fry.
The home association was left licking its wounds after Bundaberg proved too good over the four junior age divisions - under-10, U12, U14 and U16 - to capture the trophy for the first time.
The carnival was the teams' last major hit-out before the Junior State Cup in July and Hervey Bay Touch Association president Jodie Houliston hoped it would serve as a wake-up call.
"Bundaberg was pretty strong and we had a few players out," she said.
"But it was a chance for them to realise they need to get moving and work a bit harder.
"The tournament gives the players a good run to work out positions and work out where they need to be on the field.
"It also helps out the coaches so they know where their strengths and weaknesses are."
Houliston said the association's main focus was to have at least 13 teams participating in this year's Junior State Cup, which starts on July 5 in Hervey Bay.
But she was confident it could improve on last year's result that saw only its U10 girls progress to the finals.
Making the finals is no mean feat, but one team that showed on Sunday it was capable of doing that was the U16 girls.
Led by Wide Bay representatives Georgia Moore, Bree Fraser and Cree Forster, the side claimed the tri-series against Bundaberg 2-1 after winning the third and deciding match 4-1.
Coach Guy Cornelius was thrilled with his team's performance and believed the girls could continue their solid form at the Junior State Cup.
"In terms of experience, playing against teams like Bundaberg is certainly great preparation," he said.
"You can train as much as you like but there is no substitute for match practice, especially of a high standard."
After Sunday's tournament, Fraser was named Hervey Bay's standout player with her hard work and communication on the field seen as her greatest skills.