Football SA's NTC squad hit the road last weekend for a pre-season regional tour of Whyalla and Port Pirie.
The squad departed Adelaide on Friday for Port Pirie with a light training session at Northern Demons Virtus Soccer Club that afternoon before camping the night at John Pirie Secondary School.
On Saturday the squad headed stopped in Port Augusta on the way to Whyalla.
From there, the squad headed up to Port Augusta for a visit, followed by Whyalla, home to the likes of Yakka Bonavic and Carl Veart, to play a friendly against an U16 Whyalla select XI at Whyalla Croatia. NTC fell 0-3 in a competitive affair, with two late goals from Whyalla sealing the win in the last 5 minutes.
Post-match, the squad enjoyed a dinner in the company of some Whyalla Croatia legends, before heading back south to Port Pirie for another training session on Sunday morning.
NTC coach, Michele Lastella, outlines the benefits of the tour, not only for his players but for the regional players too.
Overall, the regional tour was an opportunity for the girls to bond and get to know each other on a deeper level. We spent some quality time driving/visiting Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Whyalla. It is was also an opportunity for our girls and staff alike to learn about the rich history of Whyalla Croatia including the likes of Yakka Bonavic, Carl Veart and the like.
Further, the regional tour provided regional players the opportunity to play, watch and/or come interact with our elite players from Adelaide. It is important to maintain and build relationships with our regional areas. Football South Australia is dedicated to developing regional players, and perhaps one day we could have a regional team in our WNPL competition, or even our shorter pre-season cup.
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Football South Australia would like Northern Demons Virtus and Whyalla Croatia for their warm hospitality. Special thanks also to:
Whyalla Croatia - Yakka Bonavic
Whyalla Soccer Association – David Sharpe
Whyalla Select Side – Julian Simmonds
Northern Demons Virtus SC – Domenic Sciancalepore
John Pirie Secondary School – Roger Nottage, Sonya Bennett
Zlatko Belanic – Football South Australia