South eastern State League club South Springvale is looking to build on the success of its junior girls and senior women teams in season 2019, by expanding its junior girls program next season.

Whilst both senior women and men teams at the club won promotion this year, the junior girls U13/14 team, under coach Paul Xistras, won its league title and then went on to win the State Championship. As well as the team’s success, coach Xistras was recognised, for his efforts by receiving the 2019 Greater Dandenong Sports Awards, Coach of the Year, awarded last month.

Paul’s wife Nina is team manager of both the senior Women and the junior girls and also serves on the club committee. She says of the club’s plans this season, “We’re hoping to expand (the junior girls program). This year we had quite a few new girls that had never played soccer before, and they just really excelled. We’re hoping for two to three junior teams this year and that’s why we thought we’d do some trials and try to promote the club a bit more to get more young girls come in and hopefully create a couple of more teams.”

Paul and Nina’s four daughters Samantha, Pamela (senior womens), and Deannah and Nicola (junior girls) all play for the club making it a family affair.

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Nina says, “It’s a great sport for them. Gets them out and running around, improves their fitness rather than staying home on their phones and computers. It also teaches them, not only to be competitive, but to enjoy the sport. They just love it.”

She describes the culture of the club as welcoming to people of all backgrounds and embracing diversity. “Aris may come across as a Greek club. Bit we’re actually a multi-cultural club and we accept anyone.”

Paul Xistras will again be coaching the junior girls team next season. Nina describes her husband Paul as a dedicated coach committed to helping the girls develop in a positive learning environment. She says, “He had a couple of girls that would say ‘I can’t do that’. Paul motto is “The impossible is possible”. ‘You can do it. Just put your mind to it and you can do it.’”

Junior Trials/ training sessions commence this week with the U14, U15 boys. The following week sees U12- U16 girls trial/training begin, together with U16 boys.

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For session times and contacts, see South Springvale Facebook page