Commitment pays off as Cats girls make history
THE Gympie Cats under-18 girls team achieved its goal of making it to the finals of the local Gympie Cats Club competition this season and in the process, have made history.
Coach Grant Willis said the girls were the first female team to make it to the finals.
There are only two rounds left to play in the comp and the Cats are sitting 10 points ahead, which has guaranteed them a finals spot.
The Cats knew when they defeated the North Shore/Noosa Jets 59-15 three weeks ago they had secured their place.
During the game, they showed an intensity and determination to win in their play which is usually reserved for the final, Willis said.
During the past two years, Willis said there had been times when he would have been happy to just have enough players to run on to the field.
"At the beginning of the year I thought Gympie would be lucky to field a team but we have proven ourselves through hard work and dedication.
"I am pleased for them all."
"Anything that happens from here is a bonus. Our goal was to make finals and we have done that.
"(The girls) commitment to training and learning is what has got them here," he said.
"They're committed to playing and they believe in each other.
"They are an amazing bunch of girls," Willis said.
The girls were one of the only junior Gympie teams to make finals this year, finishing fourth out of seven teams.
"Our advantage is we have nothing to lose and have it all to gain," he said.
The team has been through some hard seasons, struggling to win games, let alone make finals.
He said he was particularly happy to see older players jell so well with the injection of new blood.
"I am delighted for the older girls - who had previously been belted week in and week out - to experience the fruit of a win," Willis said.
The Cats will play Nambour-Maroochydore tomorrow, who are sitting above them on the ladder.
"They know they are up against a really good side," Willis said.
"They have trained well this week and I think they are just excited to make finals."