25 September, 2023
Eagles soar to victory
PLAYING their strongest games of football yet, the Atherton Eagles have swooped up the grand final trophy for two age groups this season.
The Eagles Division One men and Under 13s emerged victorious during the grand finals over the weekend, making their club and community proud.
Their under-16 team also made it to the grand finals but fell to Edge Hill 3-1, despite dominating the first half, settling the score at 1-1 at halftime.
Biting back hard in the second half, Edge Hill was determined to get their shot, attacking harder than the Eagles had ever seen and securing their win.
Coach and Eagles vice president Jason Cummings said his team worked hard throughout the season despite an “unfair” draw.
“The bulk of our season, up until only three weeks ago, it was very sporadic, and we would have a game and then two weeks off – it was very inconsistent,” he said.
“They realised then the draw wasn’t fair, so in the last eight days before finals, we played five games to give us a final number of 12 games for the season,” he said.
Despite being confident and consistent towards the end of the season, it wasn’t enough to win the grand finals.
Cummings said he was still proud of his team and their efforts and was keen to get stuck into next season.
After winning last season’s grand final, the Division One men were determined to put themselves back at the top of the ladder this year.
Going up against Douglas, it was their team’s diversity that gave them strength and pulled them through to a 4-3 win.
Training harder than ever, the team put a strong focus on their culture, ultimately leading to their grand final win.
“There was definitely more excitement there filtering down from last year’s team,” Cummings said.
“This year, they had a point to prove, and they went out during that grand final knowing they had to go good.
“They have matured, dug deep and deserved the win.”
The Under 13s went undefeated this season, smashing every single one of their games and ultimately securing the win against Redlynch 2-1.
During their grand final, their rivals in Redlynch fought back hard, sending the game into extra time.
“That was a bit of a nail-biter at the end there when they went into extra time – it was anyone’s game,” he said.
“They were definitely the better team all season, and on the night, the other team had something to prove and wanted it more.
“They gave it to our boys, and they came through towards the end and found their feet.”
Overall, Cummings is proud of the effort the club has put in this year and is looking forward to getting back into pre-season training next year.
He said all their hard work improving the club's culture and focusing on the junior players coming up has paid off immensely.
“That is the future of our club, and if we develop our young guys now, in five years, they will be the professionals out there,” he said.