Success Built On Enjoyment
They may be undefeated in over 20 games, but according to Coach, Tony Mayhew, not focusing on results has been the key for the Caboolture Sports FC Under-14 Girls team becoming a force to be reckoned with.
With five wins and a draw from six games this season, the side have picked up where they left off in 2016, when they went through the under-13 season undefeated.
“It would be close to 25 matches now we’ve gone without a loss, and with pretty much the same group of players,” Mayhew said. “Most of the girls I’ve coached for four or five years now, from back when they had to play up a few divisions in the Sunshine Coast league.
“It wasn’t always easy. There were times we were playing in an Under-14 competition when a lot of the girls were only 10 or 11, and I remember one game we lost 18-0, so it’s a real credit to the players, the parents and the club that we’ve stuck together and are now reaping the rewards.
“They’ve really bought into what we’re trying to do, which isn’t to win at all costs, but to educate the players on things that will help them in the long-term, like being good winners and losers.
“It’s often the case in women’s football that there are really promising juniors coming through the ranks but when they get to 17 or 18 they stop playing for whatever reason, so we’re trying to help them build relationships and skills that will encourage them to keep playing through to seniors.”
They have added motivation in Assistant Manager, Stefanie Mayhew (Tony’s daughter), who is a marquee player in Caboolture’s Capital League women’s team.
“They love Stef, and it’s good having a female there showing them a few different ways of doing things as they probably get sick of my voice after a while,” Tony said. “Stef started at Caboolture as a junior player, and left for a few years to test herself in a different league before returning to the club, but it’s good that players don’t really have to do that now we’re in the Brisbane league.
“It’s definitely not an easy competition, and we’re yet to play Grange Thistle who are also undefeated, so it’s a testament to this group that they’ve had such success for so long.
“One of our biggest strengths is that a lot of the girls play in several different positions, which really helps the team but also the players in getting the best out of themselves without being locked into a certain spot.
“Playing together for so long obviously helps as well, as they get along well and know each other’s games. The majority are still only 12 or 13 as well, so it’s a really good sign for the future of this team and also the club.”
Mayhew has been with Caboolture for around 15 years “on and off” since Stefanie started playing, and coaches the senior women’s team with Terry Jones as well as the Under-14s.
“The women’s team is going pretty well, but we’re still on the lookout for a few more players,” he said.
“The key is making sure the junior players enjoy their football so hopefully they stick around long enough to make the step-up into the senior side. It all comes back to developing them for the long term rather than just focusing on the result of the next game.”