NORTHERN Inland’s most talented soccer stars experienced plenty of success in the first National Indigenous Football Championships held in Nowra last weekend.
The women’s Northern Nations team finished the first day undefeated with no goals scored against them.
Their record saw them qualify for the grand final against Illawarra Bungarra where they went down 4-0.
The men’s team finished the tournament with two wins, two losses and a draw.
Player Matt Henry said it was a fantastic experience and the competition is only going to get bigger in years to come.
"The atmosphere was electric,” he said.
"For me, I have taken that away for the first year and know that I will come back bigger and stronger for next year.
"Because the majority of the boys come from Armidale and it was the first time a lot of us played together.
"That is the only area we need to improve on, just understanding each other's game but from a holistic outlook, we all know how to play the game of football.
"And just a few areas in fitness, but we can work on that in the next 12 months to get there.”
He said the women’s competition was “spectacular” and believes the Northern Nations side will continue to be a force in future tournaments.
"Because they are such a young squad, they are going to be contenders over the next decade,” he said.
"As the Northern Nations, that makes us proud knowing that our women are so strong and are going to be able to compete for that final spot all the time.”
Team organiser Dave Widders had the opportunity to play alongside sporting great such as Anthony Mundine and Craig Foster.
He said it was one of the most memorable experiences he has been a part of and everyone will come back hungrier next year to win the title.
"It was a really good weekend, probably one of the best sporting events I have been to,” he said.
"Soccer is my game, I have grown up on it so it made me want to do it even more.”
A male and female national team from the Championships is set to be announced in coming days with plenty of locals tipped to be named.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.