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TGH Exclusive: Strathfield Female Football Festival recognises young women in our sporting community

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By: Takis Triadafillou

The future of female football is placed in everyone in the football community’s hands, as we enter the transition phase of women’s sport in Australia.

Left to drive this future in Sydney is Strathfield’s Junior Vice President Angelica (Gelly) Georgopoulos, along with her sister Alexandra, who worked tirelessly to organise the Female Football Festival that took place on the 8th of March 2020.

The Greek Herald spoke with Angelica regarding her tremendous work in organising the festival, giving young girls in Sydney the opportunity to enjoy a day of football fun.

Angelica tell us about the Female Football Festival on Sunday?

Sunday went so well, a little bit soggy in the morning – but nothing the girls could not handle! Quite a symbolic message… even in the rain, the girls played their hearts out. Our two synthetic fields at Strathfield Park allowed for the festival to go ahead, even in the rain… we play! By midday, we were lucky to see the sun again. 

How many Clubs were involved?

The festival hosted several clubs from different associations and the aim was to celebrate International Women’s Day and female footballers within the community. These clubs included Bankstown Sports Stars FC, Birrong FC, Russell Lea Women’s SC, Hurlstone Park Wanderers FC, Inter-Lions FC, Marrickville FC, Roselands FC and of course Strathfield FC. 

Angelica could you describe the programme that took place on the day?

We had 4 age groups, U12s (for most, their first time playing on a full field) U14s, U21s and an All Age Women’s (our team). Each age group had 4 teams and played two full-field games, the winner of both matches were presented with the incredible SFC FFF trophy and plaque (If I do say so myself!). There was also a Players Player and Golden Boot awarded to each age group.

We had a BBQ, free-gelato to all female participants, two W-League Sydney FC players (Veronica Latsko and Lindsay Agnew) present to take photos and interact with the girls and representation from Football NSW and the Western Sydney Wanderers. We were also lucky to have a famous Australian-Greek DJ from the 80s DJ Harry Wild! He was a fantastic M/C and DJ on they day. 

Did any officials from the council attend the festival?

Yes, Jody McKay MP, Cr Maryanne Duggan and Cr Karen Pensabene our local council members also attended the festival. They were extremely impressed by how much female football has grown in the community!

What about the promotion of Women World Cup Bid?

The #GetOnside sign was to promote the Australian-New Zealand Women’s World Cup Bid for 2023. The festival was a great platform to advocate for this. Also I want to add that Alexandra and I along with one other Strathfield FC committee member, Jamie Bromell, had been working on this festival for months. It was extremely rewarding to see it come to life and empower our younger girls to become more confident, celebrate being female and become more involved in the game. It was great to see the younger girls watching the older girls play… these girls now realise they have female leaders to look up to. Something Alexandra and I never had growing up in football. 

We have left a legacy behind at Strathfield FC, and we look forward to organising the 2021 Strathfield FC Female Football Festival! We hope for an even bigger and better one!

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