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Ready to play . . . Young footballers (back, from left) Neve Black, Hanna Strachan, Annalise Kilgour, Hana Davies, Sophie Spittle, (front) Zara Davies, Rosa Black, Evie Wilson, Breanna Kingan, and Sophie Rohrbach are stoked to be in a 10th grade football team under the Football Waitaki umbrella. PHOTO: TWYLA KINGAN

It is an exciting time for Oamaru football coach Twyla Kingan and a bunch of local girls.

Kingan is taking a girls-only 10th grade team to a South Island tournament in Kaiapoi next month.

Football Waitaki created the team after identifying a need for one in the district.

Kingan believed it was the first time in years that a 10th grade girls team had come out of the Waitaki district.

The team is made up of girls aged 11 to 13 from various clubs.

When Kingan asked the girls if they wanted to play in an all-girls team, the response was an overwhelming “yes”.

The coach was excited about seeing how the team performed throughout the season.

“I’m excited, very excited. I love seeing the enthusiasm and the excitement from the girls.

“I’m looking for the girls to play as a team and play the best that they can and learn from each game.”

Kingan thought it was important to encourage more young girls to take up football.

“Beyond this tournament, it’s just looking at helping to drive the girls and the female population into the sport.”

As long as there was a need for a 10th grade team in the district, Mrs Kingan was happy to keep coaching it.

“If the want is there for the girls, I’m quite happy to keep it moving forward,” she said.