After many years with a senior soccer contingent consisting of two men's sides, the Crookwell Soccer Club is thrilled to have fielded a senior women's team this season.
Not only have they begun playing again, but the group has enjoyed remarkable success early in the 2021 season, with two wins and one loss in the Highlands Soccer Association All Age Women Premier League.
Crookwell's senior competition president, Nick Harrop, said the women's success was "the best part" of the club's year so far.
"The women's team is back up and running after many years of absence," he said.
"Despite having never played together before, they're sitting mid-table which is pretty amazing really considering it's a new team and they've settled straight in together."
The CSC has attempted to put together a women's team for a number of years, but consistently fallen short of numbers.
This year, Harrop said, he feared the same result, before a change in mindset led to more success in recruiting players.
"We thought we could've done it for a couple of years, and to be honest it didn't look more likely this season than previous seasons," he said.
"We just took the approach that if we say there definitely will be a women's team, then it'll happen, and it did."
Having willed the women's side into being, it seems a similar willpower has enabled the players to gel quickly and hit the ground running in 2021.
So far, the only stumble took place in round one against Marulan, who currently sit at second on the ladder.
Since then, Crookwell recorded a 1-0 victory over Exeter, and a 2-1 win over Robertson Gold last weekend.
With much of 2021 yet to be played, the CSC is not getting ahead of itself. However, Harrop hopes that a positive first year for the Crookwell women will keep the team together in seasons to come.
The key, he said, is capitalising on the strong juniors now making their way through the club's age group sides.
"All it's going to take is for the current team to stick together for a couple of seasons, then we'll see the Under 15s come through," Harrop said.
"They were part of an all-girls' Under 13s team for the last couple of years which won the premiership in 2019, and after they play 15s for a couple of years they'll need to move up.
"We've got a dozen or so players coming up from there and we have another 13s team also coming up currently. If we keep an Under 13s team going, it'll continue to feed up the pipeline."
The Crookwell women's season will continue this weekend, with a round five fixture against the third-ranked Hill Top Kookaburras. The match will begin at 1pm on Saturday, May 22, in Bundanoon.
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