Striking goals for Forest Killarney Football Club
Forest Killarney Football Club may not be the largest club in the Manly-Warringah Football Association, but it is certainly kicking some big goals.
The O35 team is embarking on its first ever grand final which will be played against Mosman Football Club this Saturday. The team boasts humble beginnings: captain and coach, Stephen Calacouras, brought the team together last year by reaching out to the parents of the kids he was already coaching at the club. The majority of the squad has stayed on together for this year. They have become a tight-knit group, with a few native French speakers in the mix as a reflection of the local multilingual community. Although Calacouras describes their success as, “making ripples in a very small pond,” the team received a congratulatory video message from Mark Schwarzer, former Socceroos goalkeeper, after their semi-final win.
“For him to stop and send us a message like that is pretty cool,” admits Calacouras, “We felt like little kids again.”
The fun-loving spirit of the team reflects that of the club as a whole. It aims to be a point of connection for people in the local community. In particular, Forest Killarney FC prides itself on its promotion of women’s football. Even though football is popular among female spectators in Australia, the sport still has relatively low female participation. This is something the club is actively involved in changing. Calacouras describes his own daughter running around in a Matildas shirt and how the club’s women’s ambassador, Hannah Bromley, motivates younger girls to play. The hope is for women’s football in the club to progress even further in the future.
The Forest Killarney FC is open to anyone who wants to play socially or competitively. It provides a place where those who are new to the community can meet and socialise with their new neighbours. At the end of the day, Calacouras says the most important thing is for people to have fun.
“When people think of the club, we want them to smile. It should be a happy place.”
More info: www.fkfc.com.au
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