The Shoalhaven District Football Association's assault on the women's and under 18s branch titles will kick-off this weekend, as both sides host their first training sessions.
After being shelved for a number of seasons, the women's program was reintroduced six years ago - helping the game reach new heights in the area.
While last year's campaign was sidelined because of COVID-19, the carnival, which will pit Shoalhaven against Eurobodalla, Highlands, Southern Tablelands and Far South Coast, will make a return to the field in 2021 - at Moruya on October 16 and 17.
"Shoalhaven and the other associations have been working towards strengthening and supporting the development of girls and women's football in the region over the past few years," said Shoalhaven women's coach Brad Banks, who admits the Matildas' recent success has inspired a boom on female numbers.
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"Not to mention the support from Football NSW has allowed tournaments like this to take place and help nurture our next generation of stars."
The 2021 tournament will also mark the inaugural under 18s division at the carnival.
"The introduction of the under 18s age group falls in line with the FNSW completion pathways and creates a natural progression for our Shoalhaven players," Banks said.
"The Shoalhaven won both the under 12s and 14s branch titles this year, as well as producing strong performances in the under 16s.
"The under 18s and women's teams will round out a full female pathway program for players in the Shoalhaven."
"Our goals will be to continue to develop our regional players in a representative environment in a program that allow players to grow and pursue their individual goals in a team environment," Banks said.
We are looking to grow this program into 2022 allowing players to compete against the best players from Southern NSW Country Associations."
If you'd like to be involved, please contact SDFA's technical director Mark Johnson on 0488 034 500.