Eight Macksville Falcons girls selected to represent NSW in nationals

Clockwise from back left: Bella Ronan, Brin Trisley, Ellie Spain, Wulaaran Walker, Ruby Flanders, Lucy Spain and Matiese Trisley.

Clockwise from back left: Bella Ronan, Brin Trisley, Ellie Spain, Wulaaran Walker, Ruby Flanders, Lucy Spain and Matiese Trisley.

You know you've got something special when a small regional shire produces a vast flock of state representatives in the same sport.

Eight Falcon girls have been selected for NSW touch football teams, including five in the National Youth Championships' Under 18s sides. The club has consistently produced rep players each year - but never to this extent.

"It just goes to show how committed our club is to improving everyone across the board," Matiese 'Most Valuable Player North Coast' Trisley said.

"It's really nice to have a few Macksville and Nambucca names up against those selective sports schools like Narrabeen and Castle Hill."

Matiese is lucky to even be attending this year after a knee surgery about 10 weeks ago.

"I probably wouldn't be playing at this tournament if it wasn't for Soulitude Health helping me out after my operation. I'm really grateful for their support," she said.

For the first time, two local pairs of sisters have been chosen as part of the mix - Lucy and Ellie Spain and Matiese and Brin Trisley. Although, Matiese said there's a sense of sisterhood amongst all of the girls selected because of the culture the club has built over the years.

Ellie will represent the NSW Combined Independent Schools (CIS) Under 15s at the National Schools Cup - a huge coup considering how tough it can be to divert selectors' attention away from Sydney's strength.

For years I've been there watching Lucy play and always secretly wished I could be where she was.

Ellie Spain

She will come up against Macksville High's Wulaaran Walker in the Combined High Schools (CHS) team.

Lucy Spain earnt a coveted spot in the CIS Opens. And for the first time in the six years they've played together, she and Matiese will face off on the footy field, with Matiese, Brin and Nambucca High's Bella Ronan all scoring a spot on the CHS team.

"It's gonna be hard - there's gonna be some rivalry there," Matiese said, grinning.

Fifteen-year-old Brin was disappointed after missing out on the Under 15s selection and was unprepared for what came next: "I honestly didn't expect to make the Opens. It's nerve-wracking, but I'm just training my hardest to be as strong as them."

For sixteen-year-old Bella, this is her first time being selected for national level competition: "It didn't feel real - there are so many other good players."

Kim O'Donnell from Inverell is the fourth Falcon selected for the CHS Opens.

Kim O'Donnell on the left

Kim O'Donnell on the left

And last, but far from least, 12-year-old Ruby Flanders was chosen to represent the state after her Polding team took out the NSW PSSA Primary Touch Football championships a fortnight ago.

"Dad's taught me heaps. He said I just have to keep working hard to get to where I needed to go," she said.

Macksville Falcons president Craig Englert is rapt with the result: "This year nearly a third of the NSW opens team comes from here. They've trained the house down - all of them. They all love the sport and every time they get on the field they give 100 percent."

The high school girls travel up to the Sunshine Coast next week to battle it out with the best in the country, while Ruby will head to Canberra at the end of October.

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