The Illawarra and South Coast remains a massively significant nursery for football at all age levels after four teams including two Albion Park sides won the prestigious State Cup crown.
Thousands of players, officials and supporters packed into Valentine Sports Park for the 15 grand finals from under 12s to All Age Women, with South Coast the top association in NSW with four winning teams.
The Shellharbour under 12s ensured a perfect start to the day for South Coast with a brilliant 3-0 win over Winston Hills (Hills Football).
Striker Sonny Randle opened the scoring from a corner and Joel Palermo made Shellharbour 2-0 ahead just minutes later.
Kaiden Markovic put Shellharbour out of sight with a third goal just before halftime.
Palermo claimed the Deploy IGNITE match ball as man of the match as Shellharbour proved the top team in a tournament featuring 51 teams from 15 associations.
Meanwhile, Fernhill under 14s Girls have continued an inspirational season by beating Pittwater (Manly-Warringah) 1-0 to win the State Cup crown.Fernhill’s only loss for the season was on the opening day and they have risen to every challenge to be arguably the top team in the state.
Coniston’s under 16 Boys team were beaten 2-1 by a powerhouse Lourdes FC (Blacktown Association) in their grand final. Coniston gave everything they had and were backing up after winning the Kanga Cup title earlier this month. Albion Park made it a double triumph, winning the 18s Women and All Age Women crown.
The Albion Park 18s beat Gladesville (North West Sydney) 1-0 in a hard-fought decider.
The Albion Park All Age Women team were the most dominant winners of the 15 Cup champions, crushing Northbridge FC (Northern Suburbs) 8-0. It was a remarkable finale for the outstanding team in the competition and proof they rank as one of the best club sides in any division in NSW.
The State Cup has been running for more than 30 years and gives teams from various associations across NSW the opportunity to play teams from outside their association in a knockout format.