Make My Own Journey

Sarah Jaggs tells Marcela Torres-Castiglioni about her premiership-winning season with Terrigal United W12A. United finished the season in top spot with 10 wins and 2 losses, jagged a semi-final with a golden goal, only to fall 2-3 to the odious Kanwal Warnervale in the grand final at Central Coast Stadium.

Central Coast W12A Girls Premiers Terrigal United P12 W10 L3 (unverified). Grand Final runners-up Kanwal 3 – 2 Terrigal United 1st Nov 2020 Central Coast Stadium.

Tell us about your season: It has been my favourite season so far. At Terrigal you have to try out for your spot and get graded. I’m in the A-team, so yeah, it’s really cool cause it’s really big, there’s a canteen and I’ve got really cool friends. [Teammates] Coco and Heidi really welcomed me to Terrigal and made me want to stay when I was new there and I felt I was kind of alone. They told me all the good things about Terrigal and now they are like my second family.

What position do you play? Left-midfield. I like to do a lot of running and get the ball and work together with everyone else. The coach told me I might do a good job running up the line, and that’s been happening every time I play. I’ve scored quite a bit doing that.

How many? Six or seven. Malea Carpenter [scorer of both United’s grand final goals] scored maybe 32. We were a really strong team. We only lost 3 games. Whenever we lost, our coach said what we needed to improve. For five weeks, pretty much the whole time, we did fitness for training. So we did like 3km running, then burpees, pushups then we did those goalie dives… so yeah. Our coaches encourage us in a way that won't make us, like, suffer. And they will do it in a way to make us lift our spirits and say “this will be fun, we can do this, if we just do this and this and that.”

How was it playing at Central Coast Stadium? It felt like I was already a professional soccer player! It’s the Mariners’ stadium and I’ve watched so many games there, it felt like I was one of them. We got to use the change rooms, walk through the tunnel. And we had a commentator. But he said pretty much everyone’s names wrong except for mine!

Do you have a funniest moment of the season? Ok, so what happened was we were playing Umina and I was in goal. I slipped over backwards when I was trying to kick the ball, and then, so I kicked the ball and it hit the um, whats it called…

The post? Yeah the post! And then it came back and I’m like “where’d it go”, then it hit my head in the back and then what happened was my friend was behind me and she kicked the ball and it hit me again. And then she finally kicked it again and it went across the whole field, all the way, cause she's got the best boot in our team. And a girl called Lacey on the other end, she headed it into the goal and we got a goal. My coach, she dropped to her knees and she was laughing so hard. Because my face, it was like “what happened??” *laughs*.

Do you have any pre-game routines or rituals? I like to eat scrambled eggs in the morning, but I don’t want to get too full or I don’t play properly. Our team warm-up is the FIFA warm up, if you’ve heard of that? Me and my friend on my team pass the ball to each other, like so we juggle it and then we knee it to each other. And then our coach blows a whistle, then we drop to our hands and do 20 push-ups. And then we do burpees 20 times and then it’s time to go onto the field and play.

[Search FIFA warm-up for more info - Ed.]

What other training techniques do you use? You have an hour and a bit of practice, when you separate into your midfielder groups, or you separate into one striker, one midfielder, one back and your set goalie. So it’s like a… it’s a sharing team. They consider everything and all your abilities.

We have to pass the ball because we have a rule of pass three times before you pass halfway. We play possession in a small square so we can pass quicker.

What are your hopes for next season? I want to try and get in the rep team [a grade above]. I’ve heard there are some really good players coming next year and I feel that my skills will rise and I’ll be able to play professionally one day.

I used to dream I might be like Sam Kerr, but I don’t want to be like someone, I want to make my own journey. Thanks Sarah, we’ll be sure to follow you next season.

Dangar Island native Marcela Torres-Castiglioni plays for Normanhurst Eagles and is a strength coach at Central Coast Mariners. She co-authored the paper "Maturity-related developmental inequalities in age-group swimming: The testing of 'Mat-CAPs' for their removal" and won the Sydney University Medal in Exercise and Sport Science. She volunteers for the Mariners on A-League matchdays and has attended every Mariners A-League grand final, including the one they won. She once offered Central Coast Mariners reserves coach Nick Montgomery a wooden spoon, causing him to visibly recoil.

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