Queen of soccer wants a win

HOLLIE Jarrett is the unofficial queen of soccer in Bangalow - and there's no one better qualified for the role.

The dedicated 28-year-old, who is preparing to lead her side out in this Thursday's Callan McMillan Shield grand final at Lismore's Oakes Oval, has played with the club for almost two decades.

Born and bred in the village, she skippers the women's Premier Division side and admits she still feels the adrenaline rising when she pulls on her side's blue shirt.

"I love playing for Bangalow," she said.

"Being in this area for years and years means it means a lot to me.

"The soccer community in Bangalow is well-supported and I'm just proud to be a part of it."

Jarrett started playing soccer in the under-10s and has been with the club for most of the time since.

The central midfielder helped establish the club's Premier Division side five years ago and is a lynchpin of the team.

"I've made so many good friends out of it," she said.

"There's been players come and go but we've had a pretty consistent group of girls in their mid to late 20s.

"When I was younger I had dreams of going further but then realistically things like having a career take over.

"I think at our level, soccer is a fun way of keeping fit, healthy and being happy.

"I'm pretty passionate about it. I love it."

Jarrett, who praised coach Paul Hanigan for his "amazing" work with the team, said she also took her role as captain seriously.

"I'm not the most talkative player on the field," she said. "I try and set an example to the other players.

"I don't criticise too much. I try and support the other players."

Jarrett is also hoping her side can again overturn the odds in this Thursday's big match.

Villa has been the region's dominant women's side in recent years but the Bluedogs upset the status quo with victory in last season's Premier Division grand final at Oakes Oval.

"I was stoked when we won," Jarrett said with a grin.

"I had so many people come up afterwards and say, 'We saw your picture in the paper. You looked so happy'.

"It's a pretty big thing to play a cup final at Oakes.

"They are a good team but I think we have a good chance."



(All matches at Lismore's Oakes Oval):

Women: Thursday: Callan McMillan Shield: B Division: Mullumbimby Brunswick Valley v Byron Bay (6pm); A Division: Bangalow v Alstonville (8pm).

Men: Friday: Tursa Employment and Training Anzac Cup: Grade 16; Mullumbimby Brunswick Valley v Casino (12.05pm); Open B: South Lismore v Alstonville (2pm); Open A: Shores United v Rovers (4.15pm); Premier Division: Lismore Thistles v Byron Bay (7pm).

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