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East Campbelltown Eagles young guns have a year to remember

Winning seems to come naturally for these rugby league young guns, the East Campbelltown Eagles under nine division one side.

The team, which includes one girl, will forever remember 2019 as the year they swept all before them.

In June they emerged triumphant in the Paea Cup at Minto, followed it up with the Under 9 Division 1 Wests Tigers Macarthur minor premiership and premiership titles, and then headed to Emu Plains where they promptly won the Pesle Dicker Shield in mid September.

That’s four titles in their very first year of competition together, a pretty good return in anybody’s language.

The Paea Cup is a 16 team tournament hosted by local club Minto Cobras and named after the rugby league first grade brothers, Lopini, Mickey and Lelea Paea.

East Campbelltown went through undefeated, besting St Johns Eagles, Kellyville Bushrangers and Eagle Vale St Andrews in the round robin games, Quakers Hill Destroyers in the semi-final and Bankstown Sports Junior Rugby League in the grand-final.

In the process it became the first local team to win the competition.

After finishing first to take out the minor premiership in the local competition, these junior Eagles went head to head with Minto Cobras in the grand final at Campbelltown Stadium.

Their 24 -12 victory was the club’s first of five premiership titles for that weekend alongside the under 10-1s, 11-1s, 15s and senior bronze teams.

In their final campaign for 2019, these junior red and white champions from Campbelltown ventured out to Leonay Oval in Emu Plains on Saturday, September 14, to take on the best that the Penrith Junior Rugby League had to offer in the Pesle Dicker Shield.

The Shield was founded in 2011 and began as a competition between the Emu Plains and St Marys A-Grade sides.

In 2016, the Shield evolved to become an Under 9s gala day open to teams from within and beyond the Penrith district.

Of the 32 teams that took part, the East Campbelltown Eagles were the only one from outside the Penrith district.

But that didn’t stop the Eagles from going on to win the whole thing.

In the pool rounds, Blacktown Workers, St Clair Comets and Brothers Penrith were all swept aside by the Eagles.

Cambridge Park put up a fight but couldn’t stop the powerhouse team from Campbelltown in the semi-finals and the St Clair Comets Division 1 team saw their hot streak come to an end in the grand final at the hands of these mighty rugby league warriors.

“The aim wasn’t necessarily to win the tournament, it was more about giving the team an opportunity to play in an event in another district and further build the camaraderie among the kids,” says their coach Daniel Milford.

“The coaching team has focused on development and discipline all season and I believe the team’s success is founded from this,” he said.

The team comprised of 11 players over the season: Noah Pita, Cooper Firman, Rocky Latu, Damarion Fotualii, Hendrix Neave, Jesse Ropata, Lincoln Lamese, Elijah Thompson, Urijah Brown, Jyai Milford and the team’s solitary female, Alilia Sauvao.

Four additional players lent their services during the tournaments; Jayden Thompson, Monson Hopoate, Spencer Sorensen and Loutazz Leuka.

The team is currently raising funds for a tour to the Sunshine State, Queensland where the team hopes to stir up some of the competition with some friendly “state versus state’’ rivalry.

Anyone interested in sponsoring or donating to the team’s cause is asked to contact coach Daniel Milford via the East Campbelltown Eagles email – inquiries.eastcampbelltown@gmail.com

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