EAST COAST Eagles All-Abilities have sent two teams to reclaim the national championships in Sydney after winning the inaugural title in 2019.
Sixteen players from two Port Macquarie teams attended the competition from January 10 to 14. The East Coast blue team made the grand final, while their yellow team counterparts were eliminated by the eventual winners from Queensland (Team QLD TAG 5).
Coordinator Chris Whitfield said both teams had enjoyed an amazing time in Sydney.
"It was a very different competition than last year. There were a lot more teams in our division this year, which was good because we got to play a lot more games and was a lot more fun," he said.
"We got to see what is happening in this division around Australia because athletes with disability is a developing division.
"This year we took two teams down and there was a team from Queensland and Victoria. Queensland came down with a young, fit squad and really gave us a run for the trophy.
"One of our teams beat them in the round robins but we ended up losing to them in the grand final, two goals to one.
"There was only one goal in it but it was one of those games you don't mind losing because it was such an intense game and played in the right spirits."
Apart from the grand final the Eagles toughest game was their first with both blue and yellow teams picked to play each other.
"Our teams played each other in the first game. That was quite an experience because everyone wants to win," said Mr Whitfield.
"We had to make sure that we all competed on the court but as soon as we left the court we supported each other. They did a really good job of that.
"That was a really hard first game and later in the competition we saw other teams using our defensive and attacking structures."
Throughout the competition both Port Macquarie teams put particular emphasis on health, nutrition and stretching to maintain their run at the title.
"We put a really big thing on recovery this year as well to warm up, warm down, maintain good nutrition and drink lots of water. I think that's what got us through to the end of the comp," said Mr Whitfield.
"David Toms picked up the Golden Boot award (highest goalscorer) with 14 goals and Ben King was named goalkeeper of the division. We ended up with four of the five members of the AllStar team.
"We will go down next year but we are also thinking about holding some little State of Origin matches as well or holding some games in Port Macquarie.
"It's going to be a very exciting year and it's had a very good start to the year. A big thank you to everyone who supported us to get down there."
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