Sunraysia’s Lightning reps enjoy strong VCL openers

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The long wait was finally over for seven Sunraysia-based members of the Loddon Mallee Lightning Soccer Club, with the 2011/12 Victorian Champions League recently getting underway.

FUTURE STARS:  Sunraysia Academy of Sport football program participants Annabel Martin, Piers Cresp, George Voliotis, Yanni Voliotis, Peter Marziano and Jacob Roccisano are among those who will take part in this summer’s Victorian Champions League, lining up with the Loddon Mallee Lightning.

 

A competition that features several of the region’s more talented soccer players – who have all gained entry into their respective squads through their affiliation with the Sunraysia Academy of Sport’s football program – the Lightning will enter its fourth Champion’s League campaign this season, with several of the club’s participating teams starting the year with a win.

Competing in age groups ranging from Under 13’s to Under 17’s (both boys and girls divisions), the Lightning – who are based in Bendigo – enjoyed a home ground advantage against the North West Wanderers in Round 1.

With all games played at the Epsom Huntly Reserve, the Under 13 girls experienced a tight opening game, with the Wanderers – who were down 1-0 at half time – coming back to beat the Lightning 2-1.

The Under 13 boys enjoyed a far easier time of it compared to their female counterparts, with the Lightning enjoying a 3-0 win over the Wanderers.

The Under 14 boys were on the receiving end of a Wanderers beating, with the Lighting going down 6-0, while in the Under 15 girls, Loddon Mallee proved the best team of the round, enjoying a massive 10-0 win over the North West team.

The Under 15 boy’s competition saw the Lightning and Wanderers battle out a 2-2 draw, while the Lightning’s Under 17 girls proved a force to be reckoned with, accounting for the Wanderers 7-0.

In the final match of the round, the Lightning’s Under 17 boys team also enjoyed a win, beating the Wanderers 2-0.

An initiative of Football Federation Victoria, the Champions League is a summer-based competition which aims to bring the best players from around the State together, while also encouraging continued player development under Football Federation Australia’s national curriculum.

The competition sees the State split into 12 zones (eight metropolitan and four regional), with both boys and girls representative sides in various age groups facing off each week.

Loddon Mallee Lightning squads are selected from the best players in the Central and North West regions of Victoria, including Bendigo, Mildura, Echuca and Swan Hill.

This story appeared in the Mildura Weekly on October 28th 2011.

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