The Bonnie Lassie Cup enters its 43rd year, commencing this Sunday 14 March with 24 teams competing from all around the Illawarra, South Coast and Southern Highlands.
Over 300 Women’s players will be participating in a robin style tournament held at Ian McLennan Park. The competition has been split into two conferences, where all Women’s teams will either qualify for the Cup Finals or Plate Finals.
The opening games for the tournament on Sunday morning see Wollongong United up against Fernhill FC and Berkeley competing against Corrimal.
Thirroul’s first battle will be against last year’s Plate winners – Helensburgh.
Last year’s Cup winners UOW FC will be playing full strength throughout this tournament as they hope to take home the Cup in consecutive years.
UOW FC player Annalise Hedditch says her team is taking this seriously and will “fight to the very end” as they prepare for this Sunday.
“I definitely think we are looking stronger than last year,” she said.
“The team is still undecided for this weekend’s Cup but we have had over 100 registrations and full squad training sessions each week so we are fully prepared.”
Shellharbour will clash with last year’s cup winner’s UOW FC and reigning state champions Albion Park will play against Warilla Wanderers who have been impressive in preseason in their first games of the tournament on Sunday.
“Albion Park will always be one of our toughest competitors,” Annalise said.
“But we are keeping a close eye on Kiama who were also one of last year’s strongest contenders and will be just as strong this year, if not stronger.”
The tournament will consist of six pools of four teams and each team will play each other once on the first day of the cup.
Games will run from 8:30am-5:30pm on Sunday and will continue through to next Sunday for the elimination and Finals stages.
Head of Women’s Football Council Emi Skopal said each team in the tournament will be “extremely eager” to play this year following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The second day of the Bonnie Lassie Cup last year was cancelled due to the unfortunate pandemic,” Emi said.
“All of the teams this year will be extremely excited to play and will be even more hungry to take home either the Plate or Cup.”
The Bonnie Lassie Cup will showcase a lot of local female talent and will recognise the importance of women’s football all over the Illawarra, South Coast and Southern Highlands region.
CLICK HERE for the full draw.
Report by Alison Dinh