Victorian Entourage Cheer On Percy
It’s not uncommon for a bunch of keen Victorian Touch Footballers to travel across many borders to play in competitions.
From Dubbo, Port Macquarie, Tasmania, Yass and Cootamundra, no trip has been too big in order to play against the countries’ best Touch Footballers and gain extra experience.
So when one of their own. Leah Percy, recently made the Australian Women’s Open team - the first time a Victorian has ever made an Open’s team at a national level - naturally another trip was quickly booked.
A busload of Percy’s Victorian teammates decided to make the big trip from Melbourne to Mudgee, approximately 11 hours, to support Percy in her first encounter against the Kiwis, as Elies El Chaar explains.
“Once Leah had been confirmed to play for Australia in the Women's Open team, a couple of us decided to put a supporter bus together for the 11 hour drive to Mudgee. At one stage we had 20 names down not including Leah's family,” El Chaar said.
“Her family and friends have always been very supportive of Leah and very confident in her ability and we were all looking forward to watching Leah play in the Australian colours. To her closest friends and especially her family it had been a long time waiting. So whenever or wherever she had been playing for Australia we were all going to be there for her.”
“There were 20 supporters in Mudgee who were all extremely proud of Leah. The Victorian Touch community really looks up to Leah and her achievements. She has definitely created a pathway for future representative players.”
The busload of Percy’s friends decided to make the most of the opportunity, getting some Touch Football in for themselves along the way. This included a stopover in Cootamundra to play a game as well as a couple of games against the Mudgee Mudcrabs while in Mudgee.
“We took off about 9.00am Wednesday morning before slowly getting to Cootamundra at about 4.00pm and playing Coota at 6:30pm. On the Thursday night we played Mudgee on the outside fields before the Trans Tasman began.”
“On the Saturday we played our third game and by then we had quite a bit of interest in our game. People wanted to be involved and even the Mudgee Guardian gave us a write up. Mudgee is competing in the New South Wales Country Championships soon and we just look for games where we can as we enjoy different challenges.”
The Victoria’s Secrets team has travelled far and wide over the past 12 months, starting with last year’s New South Wales Country Championships in Dubbo. The opportunity to regularly play against high quality teams has helped their teams be more competitive, including the Victorian Women’s Open team which made the 2012 National Touch League semi finals, with Percy being named the Player of the Series.
“We feel the more comps we play in the better we get and the more we learn. Not only that, it exposes our players to selectors and elite coaches,” he said.
“We now look for our next adventure. We are looking to inviting more teams to Melbourne to play us.”