The year got off to a good start in Term One with trials and a new group of players. Some of the girls were coming back to football from time out and brought with them a new dynamic and skills. Brandy Brown (Coach) was very impressed with the depth of player ability in such a young team.
Covid-19 then occurred and the League was postponed until the start of Term 3. This gave the girls the opportunity to develop fitness and practise. We played some great football and showed the potential of which we knew the girls were capable. SGHS were too strong for us winning the League overall with JHC coming in second. Other games were played in Lumsden and Winton against Central Southland College and Fiordland College.
The Lotto Sportswear Tournament was cancelled and Otago Secondary Schools Football announced a replacement Tournament in Dunedin. The girls were pleased to have another opportunity to prove themselves and capitalize on Brandy’s strategies and set plays. Games were played at the Logan Park Football turf and were strongly contested. The girls won all 3 of the first games and lost to Columba College relegating them to 3rd or 4th place final. The final was against Kavanagh College and this came down to a penalty shoot out which our girls won. The girls were placed 3rd overall. Thanks to the co-captains Kate Johnstone and Porsche Jarvis for their leadership throughout the season.
JHC MVP Player of the Tournament went to Tessa Hayes. One of the highlights was beating SGHS decisively 2-0 in one of the early games.
All in all it was a short but very successful year that showed some very good development players coming through. In particular Ruby Jackson and Cora O”Rourke from the Junior Campus. Special thanks to Brandy Brown for her expert coaching and willingness to give up her time to coach the JHC team. Thanks also to Leigh Hayes for being the Tournament Mum and driving the girls everywhere throughout the season.
Manager JHC Girls Football Team
It has been a roller-coaster year for the James Hargest First XI this season. It has gone from as low as losing a game by a coin toss to as high as beating the tournament favourites Mount Aspiring College, in the quarter-finals. However, this season has been about contesting for the ball from the first whistle until the last in each game.
The James Hargest First XI Boy’s Football team season started off with a comfortable 4-0 win against rivals SBHS. Unfortunately, the team was unable to retain the league trophy this year although, very proud to have won three years in a row. The James Hargest First XI Boy’s Football team finished 2nd in their pool at the tournament due to a game decided on a coin toss. This resulted in the team coming up against the best team they had faced the last two seasons, Mount Aspiring, in the quarter-finals. The game started with Mount Aspiring scoring the first goal of the game within the first 20 seconds of the game. But not long after that, the Hargest team was awarded a penalty which was buried away by top Hargest goal scorer, Liam Martin. Leading up to half time it was 1-1 with Hargest managing to keep the game level. After many goal-scoring opportunities from both teams, Hargest was able to take the lead in the last ten minutes of the game, through Jackson Faithfull scoring the goal of the season. This not only had the team celebrating but also the Hargest supporters. With ten minutes to go, the Hargest team was defending for their lives with ten players defending in our own half with one striker upfront. Mount Aspiring were trying extremely hard to find a way to break the Hargest defence, but were unsuccessful as the full time whistle blew.
Overall the James Hargest First XI finished 3rd in the Secondary Southland Football League and 4th in the Secondary Southland Football Tournament. Once again I have been fortunate enough to captain the team this year, and it’s sometimes not the result that makes you happy as a captain, but to witness the progress these players have made during the season.
We say farewell to our Year 13’s Liam Martin and Matt Stewart. Liam Martin has been a part of the James Hargest First XI for the last four years and has been a goal-scoring machine upfront, while Matt Stewart has been a part of the team for two seasons using his strength and clearance ability in the defence.
2020 has another great year and I look forward to a successful 2021 with this team!
Kavindu Wanigarathna, Team Captain
Boys’ First XI Football
JHC Girls’ 1st X1 Football