Winning the Football NSW Country Cup is no small achievement.
Winning two years in a row? Even harder.
In a remarkable feat, not just one but two Dubbo sides have managed the result.
Both the under 14 and under 16 boys sides went undefeated to be named Country Cup champions at Moruya at the weekend, and their coaches couldn’t be prouder.
“We’re ecstatic,” under 14s coach Luke Cameron said.
“All up we played 12 matches across the campaign and out of all of those matches we had one draw.”
Cameron’s side not only won last year’s Western Youth League (WYL) and Country Cup, but progressed undefeated through both 2018 campaigns to defend their titles.
“It has been some time since a side has secured back-to-back Country Cup championships and so it’s a massive effort from all involved,” Cameron said.
“With the bulk of the side the same as the 2017 squad … we knew we would be competitive, however we recognise that you can never underestimate your competition.
“We approached each game with a clear plan and the lads executed it perfectly. The fact that across the Country Cup campaign they had one goal scored against them, won all their games, sets the scene.
“They are an extremely talented group and the best part is that they are a tight-knit group of young men, it is a pleasure to coach them each week.”
Meanwhile Paul Crain’s under 16 boys have been undefeated for two years.
They won this year’s Country Cup by just one point; a great reward for a group of young men in their final season of representative football.
“We’re thrilled with the end result,” Crain said.
“It was a massive effort for some of the lads, as a few of them had spent the week leading into the weekend playing football in Sydney at the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges Championships … it was worrying to see how they would be able to back up each day.”
Crain was at the games across the weekend, as he accompanied Dubbo’s under 13s to their Country Cup campaign in Wagga Wagga.
But the side still performed magnificently under the stewardship of Scott Todhunter and Renee Crain.
“Scott knows many of the lads and clearly did what was required to get them across the line, so the whole journey was a team effort,” Crain said.
“It also helped to have the consistency of my team manager and wife on the sideline across the WYL and Country Cup campaign. I couldn’t do it without all of them.”
Dubbo had a massive seven sides competing in this year’s Country Cup, with Crain coaching the under 13 boys to third place.
Craig Moore’s under 16 girls also secured third place at their tournament in Mudgee, while the under 12 girls secured fourth place.
Daniel Gilholme’s under 12 boys finished in fourth place, while Adam Walbridge’s under 15 boys fought hard but were outclassed to finish fifth.