ANYONE planning a school holiday getaway to Shoalhaven Heads will want to have booked well ahead, because it will be hard to find a place to stay this week.
All local accommodation has been completely booked out for the girl’s football state titles, which start today and go until Friday.
This is the seventh year the state titles have been held and until now, every tournament was hosted by Dubbo.
The tournament has an under 12s, 14s and 16s division and each age group has Southern, Western and Riverina, as well as six Sydney metropolitan teams.
There will be 27 teams and roughly 500 players from around the state invading the pitches all week and tournament manager Jenny Miller said it is a great thing for the community.
“This is a big boost, not just to Heads, but to the whole of the Shoalhaven,” she said.
“This is a great opportunity for the Southern girls to play at home, but one of the main things is bringing people to the area,” she added.
Mrs Miller said the Shoalhaven Heads club was approached by Football NSW last year to see if they wanted to host it and it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
“We’ve got lots of good grounds here, so I thought we would be able to handle it.
“We’re still uncertain just how busy we might be during the week, but I think it will be like a Saturday on the big scale.
“A bit like Groundhog Day.”
Shoalhaven Heads will have four local girls representing their community, with Tamika Tuckley, Amy Findlay, Mackenzie Jones and Sophie Emery to play in the Southern Branch teams.
Tamika Tuckley plays at left back and left wing for the under 16s and said she is looking forward to playing in front of her home crowd.
While she has followed the state titles closely in recent years, this is the first time she will be involved as a player.
“Lots of my mates were playing, but I never really thought I was good enough,” she said.
Tamika said she is not sure who the team to beat is, but is looking forward to playing against Western.
“They really want to play us, there’s a bit of a rivalry there,” she said.
“If we can work as a team, we’ll go well and hopefully win it,” she added.
Selectors will be there watching to pick a state and country team and Southern will also be fighting it out for the title of country champions with Western and Riverina.
Another local who is hoping to put in a good performance in front of her family and friends is Amy Findlay, who plays at centre back for the under 12s.
Amy said she is a little bit nervous about playing in front of the selectors, but is really looking forward to it.
She has been training twice a week with the Southern team and is expecting them to play pretty well.
“We know how each other play,” she said.
“We’ve been playing together all year and we’ve been working on what we know and how we can improve,” she added.
Mrs Miller said they have been working tirelessly all year to get everything orgainsed and the event would not be possible without the hard work of everyone involved.