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Rovers girls are national champions


Wednesday 04 July 2012
Richard Joyce


The Under 16 girls and coaches with the trophy

Forest Green Rovers under 16’s Girls side are celebrating after becoming national champions at the National Futsal Championships held in Birmingham at the weekend.

The girls had already enjoyed much success in the small sided form of the game having marched their way through the county and regional finals on their way to the national championships.

The team was led by coaches Anna Dennis and Natalie Holbrook with Lorea Sarobe also lending a hand with her expertise for the finals at the weekend.

As well as the strong all female coaching set up, Forest Green Rovers legend Alex Sykes, who is one of the highest capped England Futsal internationals of all time, spent time working with the squad to help boost them ahead of the tournament.

The girls conceded just once throughout the entire competition and that was in their first group game as they picked up a 1-1 draw whilst skipper Ellie Olds showed her leadership qualities in Rovers girls next fixture as they cruised to a 3-0 win courtesy of an Olds hat-trick.

Forest Green’s third game in the group stages culminated in a 0-0 draw with a confident 2-0 victory securing a place in the semi-finals as Holly Provis and Naomi Marshell struck to send Rovers through.

Tournament favourites, Acton Futsal, were the girl’s opponents in the semi-final and despite their favourites tag it was Forest Green who would secure awell-deserved place in the final as a Sophie Knight strike secured a narrow 1-0 win.

A difficult battle in the final saw Forest Green grind out a goalless draw which would see the girls face the pressure of a penalty shootout.

Provis, Marshell and Olds all confidently swept their spot kicks in to the back of the net and an outstanding stop from goalkeeper Charlotte Greaves ensured Rovers youngsters earned their place as national champions.

FGR under 16’s Girls: Ellie Olds, Martha Gaffney, Lily Gaffney, Charlotte Greaves, Fliss Winters, Jade Hamlet, Holly Provis, Naomi Marshell, Sophie Knight

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