St Catherine’s Catholic College, Singleton U12 girls crowned 2023 Paul Kelly Cup Winners

St Catherine’s Catholic College Singleton, U12 girls were crowned the 2023 State Winners in the Paul Kelly Cup for the second time in four years.

The school is now the first to take home the title more than once in the girl's competition. With many players new to the sport, the result reflects their tenacity, team spirit and growing skill to persevere and prevail in the tournament.

“It goes to show what can be achieved when someone chooses not be shy, to get in and get it done” said Patrick Fitzgerald, Teacher at St Catherine’s Catholic College, Singleton.
"I am just so happy for the girls. They can see all of their hard work paid off. The whole day was a fantastic experience for them and their families. They have created their own little piece of history."

Being in a sporting heartland the school and team have ties to the local Singleton Roosters AFL Club. With many being active members of the club and having awareness of the tragedy that occurred earlier in the year, it provided motivation to have a bigger-picture mindset throughout the tournament.

"Our positive attitude got us over the line," said Nellie Constable, U12 Girls player.

A handful of players and past coaches from the 2019 winning team came down to help coach and support the girls as they competed. Showing the generations of commitment to this team and school success.

U12 Girls player Darcy Campbell said "Hats off to our coach Mr Fitz for using his break times to coach us into becoming state champs."

About the cup

The Paul Kelly Cup is the biggest school competition run by AFL NSW/ACT and saw more than 10,000 competitors from across the ACT and NSW take the field this year.

The top 12 boys and top 12 girls teams competed in the finals series at the home of the GWS Giants - GIANTS Stadium, Homebush. It was a euphoric setting with perfect weather and a scene mirroring the professional experience.

Lilly Oliver, U12 Girls player reflected on the significance of the win, saying, "It was great for our little town to come home with a win against big city rivals."

Looking to next year

St Catherine’s Catholic College, Singleton girls and boys teams are eager to get involved with next year’s tournament and go as far as they can.

Many of the players who are new to the sport will look to join in the local competition and the school is working towards implementing the code in school sport to get more students involved.


Pool Games

  • Defeated Kiama Public School → 36-1
  • Defeated St Gregory's College Campbelltown Hunor School → 28-1
  • Drew with Henschke Catholic Primary School, Wagga Wagga → 13-13

Result: Finished at the top of the pool.


  • Defeated Terrigal Public School → 4-1

Grand Final

  • Defeated Henschke Catholic Primary School, Wagga Wagga → 32-19

Click here to the read the full article from The Maitland Mercury. 

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