Abigail calls on the women of Douglas to help put ladies team back on the field

DOUGLAS UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB

Jamie Jansen

Feature Writer

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Familiar faces. The last Douglas United ladies team played 10 years ago. Councillor Abigail Noli (centre front row)

Ten years after their last ladies team played on the fields, Douglas United is now pushing hard to recruit enough players to get a full ladies team back this season.

Michelle Blackman, who plays at Douglas United and has been involved at the club for four years, is trying hard to get a full ladies team up and running.

Michelle is pulling this together with Nadia Carlon and Becks Brown, also players at Douglas United.

For many years, they have been desperately trying to get a ladies team going at the club says Michelle.

“This year we decided to give it a massive push. Douglas United already has a mens and junior team, so it is about time we have a ladies team.”

Due to a lack female players at Douglas United, Ms Blackman, Ms Carlon and Ms Brown have been playing for Marlin Coast Rangers Football Club in Trinity Beach the past couple years.

“We just had enough players to participate in the five-a-side competition in Cairns, a version of mini football”, Ms Blackman said.

“We want to play more but until now there hasn't been enough interest from the ladies.”


Community

Ms Blackman said that joining the team is a very good opportunity to socialise. “I really enjoy the social side of playing football and playing in a team is good fun.

“The club itself also has a really nice social community. On Friday nights there’s a reasonably big crowd to come and watch the men play.

“This season the ladies games will be played on Friday too, before the men's games.”


World’s most beautiful game

Councillor Abigail Noli played on and off for the club since she was 11 years old. The last few years she played on a very social level in the summer competition.

She said that football is an incredible game. “Playing football provides an opportunity to challenge oneself physically and mentally”, she said. “It is not called the world’s most beautiful game for nothing.”

Ms Noli’s first coach at Douglas United was Raymond Rex and then Hans Rietveld, a local high school teacher, “whom I’m sure many people would know”, she said.

After she finished high school, she played at university in New South Wales. From there on she played in the World University Games in Buffalo, New York. “There I realised I was quite good, even on an international level.

“Twenty years later, I competed in the World Masters Games, the circle had been completed, from an aspiring University Graduate to a Master competitor!

“Douglas United has produced many talented players and has done very well for a regional club. Of course, not everyone wants to achieve representative football, but being part of a team tends to bring out the competitive spirit in everyone.”


Getting a full ladies squad

“Just before Christmas last year, we organised the ‘Summer Sixes Tournament’. Just to try and drum up some interest. We’ve noticed quite some enthusiasm already. We recently started a Facebook group for women who are interested in playing.”

Ms Blackman said that they’re aiming to get the support of about twenty players. “The aim is to keep recruiting because the more the merrier.”

She adds that, to join the ladies team, you don’t have to have any previous experience whatsoever. “We take anyone of all abilities as long as you are over 14.

“Training nights will be on Monday and Wednesday evenings and the matches will be on Friday night.

“Next Wednesday, on February 2, we will be holding an information night for everyone who is interested in joining the ladies team.

“We will give some more information about the season and the commitment levels that we would need from everyone.”

The information evening on February 2 will take place at 6.00pm at the Port Douglas Sports Complex.

If you’re interested in joining the club or the ladies team you can contact Michelle Blackman on 0474705534 or email Michelle_blackmanhotmail.couk. 


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