The Winston Hills Bears FC are the Under-16 champions in the Hills after edging out table toppers Kellyville Kolts 1-0 in the recent grand final.
The core of this champion under-16 Bears outfit have been together from the under-8s and 9s, and their strong bonding saw them overcome several challenges this season.
Jubilant skipper George Jasser said he was very proud of the team. “It has been a tough season with some key players out with injuries but the boys held on and getting the win is amazing, we are so happy,” George said.
They defeated Castle Hill United 3-0 and Baulkham Hills FC 2-0 enroute to the grand final of the Hills Football championship which included more than 20 matches. Oakhill College’s Tim O’Shea scored the match-winner in the grand final at Bernie Mullane, Kellyville, capping an amazing team effort that saw them unleash a 10-match winning streak.
Team Manager Chris Fileman said: “We’ve been so lucky to have such a great bunch of kids and coaches over the years.”
“We are extremely proud of them as this is the first time they have won and after being together for so long, the win has meant so much more,” a Winston Hills Bears official said.
“The Hills competition for kids only goes until U17’s and then it turns into an All Age Men competition. So, to keep the boys together for so long and to finally get the win has been amazing. They are such a great group of boys.”
It has been a remarkably successful season overall for the club which fielded six all-female teams in the different competitions. Winston Hills also won the championship in the U13 Division 1s, Under 17’s Division 1 in addition to some All Age men groups. In all, Winston Hills Bears had 93 teams across all competitions
It had been a rocky season for the young team starting off slow through the winter sport season after numerous player injuries. It seemed an almost impossible task as the Bears played the semifinals and grand finals with no substitutes.
Winston Hills FC Under 16’s, Division 1 Hills Football Grand Final Champions 2023: Caden Bowden, Alex Burga, Lachlan Diaz-Brand, Tom Fileman, Caleb Henderson, George Jasser, Tony Maroun, JP Matanganyidze , Will McDonald, Ryan Mcilvenna, Tom O’Shea, Harry Poole, Zach Redwood, Christian Tannous, Coaches Hanif Vejandi and Lochie Porter.