NIAS Report: Football squad's end of season tour

The Northern Inland Academy of Sports’ Football squad travelled to Sydney last month for their end of season tour with the support of the Armidale City Bowling Club.

Head coach for the boys, Gunnedah’s Welington Sardinha and girls’ head coach, Adam Ramage, were thrilled with the efforts of the squad after months of hard work on and off the field. 

“The Sydney tour was the highlight of the program for both our boys and girls. Our athletes were able to receive expert training from a world class coach and witness Australia’s elite football athletes and the world’s best from Premier League giants, Arsenal FC,” Sardinha said. 

The squads were hosted by Newington College and the athletes received a tour of the amazing facilities offered for their students.  “It was a pleasure to receive a tour of the exceptional educational and sporting facilities offered for Newington students,” Ramage said. 

The Newington staff provided match play for the boys, and the girls played against the Presbyterian Ladies College (PLC), Sydney. Both teams put months of hard work and practice into play as the boys came away with a well-earned draw and the girls chalked up a win.

“Both matches were a great learning experience for our squads. The boys really stepped up in the second half and displayed great composure and the girls started strongly and continued to control their match. The girls don’t get many opportunities against female teams, so it was great for this to come to fruition,” Sardinha said. 

The squads had the privilege of watching London’s Premier League giants, Arsenal FC, take on A-Leagues Western Sydney Wanderers at ANZ stadium.

Coach Ramage was pleased the athletes had the opportunity to watch the world’s best display their skills and composure.

“To be able to watch world class athletes like Ozil and Lacazette against local Australian athletes was tremendous for our athletes. The boys and girls got a lot out of this match,” he said. 

The squads were gifted the opportunity to undertake a coaching session by Newington head of football, Brian McCarthy, which included match play. McCarthy spent 12 years as the high-performance coach for the Irish international football team.