Breakers taste victory in Oceania Cup
FOOTBALL: At the start of the year, the Yamba Breakers women's team were a team in name only, with no coach and a playing group with a wide range of skills and experience.
However, in just a year, the side has come together as a team, found themselves a coach and have gone on from their NCF 2nd Division North grand final loss to clinch the Oceania Cup Open B competition in a nailbiting penalty goal shootout against Brisbane team Virginia Knights.
The Oceania Cup is a girls' and women's football tournament hosted in Alstonville, and Yamba Breakers' Holly Mountjoy said the team decided to nominate for the competition after reaching their maiden NCF 2nd Division North grand final.
"We went through our pool all weekend undefeated, and won through to the final in the Open B women's division,” Mountjoy said.
Coming up against a tough Virginia Knights side, striker Tahli Cook gave the Yamba side a chance at victory, however the scores were level at 1-1 at the end of regular time and 10 minutes of extra time.
In a tense penalty shootout, neither team could find a way to win after five shots, so the game extended out to eight shots until finally Nicolien Haafwee beat the Virginia keeper to hand victory to Yamba Breakers.
"It was amazing, we all ran onto the field and piled on top of her and we were screaming, it was crazy,” Mountjoy said.
"After losing the grand final and then winning the cup it was really special, it meant a lot us.
"We all stayed in Byron Bay together for the cup and we bonded the night before and the next day at the final which really helped. Before the last game of the (NCF) season we were all very nervous, but this time because we were all having fun and didn't have too much expectation on us, it really helped us stay calm and play with no pressure.
"The game was intense but we all communicated really well and played as a team.”
Mountjoy said the team improved all season, and with help from their coach Alfredo Paz came together as a team.
"Alfredo was watching us one day and thought that he could help us, so he started to coach us,” Mountjoy said.