Turf tried by girls in new league

Elsie Munro (9), of Dunedin Tech Flamingos, hoofs the ball forward as Harlow LaHood (9), of the...
Elsie Munro (9), of Dunedin Tech Flamingos, hoofs the ball forward as Harlow LaHood (9), of the Maori Hill 9-10 grade Gunners, defends during a match in the Football South girls-only twilight league at the new turf at Logan Park in Dunedin last night. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
New was the buzzword at Logan Park last night.

Football South's new artificial turf was in full use as a new girls-only twilight league got under way.

The turf opening is the culmination of five years of work and anticipation has been growing since construction started late last year.

Pitched as a community facility from the beginning, 17 junior girls teams in three grades were among the first to try the facility.

The league was also the first junior girls-only competition run by Football South.

Women's development officer Tessa Nicol said it had been a goal of hers since beginning in the role two years ago.

It gave girls the chance to try the sport, without having to play alongside boys on Saturday - although they still had the option of doing that.

Fun was the focus and a 20-minute skill session would precede a game in which no scores were kept.

The opening of what she dubbed the "world-class" turf had made great timing for the launch.

"I think the girls are going to enjoy having that experience of playing on the turf under lights and it looking and feeling special," Nicol said.

"So I think the timing of this league couldn't be more perfect."

The response from clubs had been fantastic and Nicol hoped to attract more girls to have a go at the sport.

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