YOUNG Port Macquarie prodigy Campbell Page no doubt made an impression as Football Mid North Coast created history at the state championships at Coffs Harbour.
The Port Saints junior banged in five goals on finals day as Mid North Coast claimed their first under-12 boys title with a 3-0 win over Macquarie in the final.
They breezed their way through the competition.
Coach and FMNC technical director Larry Budgen said the association had never previously won it in the boys division, with their last success coming under the Oxley and Manning banner.
"It's the first time they're tested in a tournament atmosphere (at that age); the seven member zones plus the Emerging Jets play for the state titles," he said.
Budgen said their only hiccup came in a 1-0 loss to Northern Inland early in the tournament before they bounced back with victories over five of the six remaining teams.
"Northern Inland had a different style, played four at the back and played very direct and long and we didn't convert chances in that game," he said.
The night time game against the Jets was the best 12s performance I've seen from Mid North Coast.Larry Budgen
They also had to share the points following a late equaliser in a 1-all draw with Hunter Valley.
A comprehensive 4-1 victory over the Emerging Jets followed in the middle of the competition which was the most complete result.
That was despite a 6-1 hammering of a Northern NSW Select team where Page found the back of the net four times.
"The night time game against the Jets was the best 12s performance I've seen from Mid North Coast," Budgen said.
"They were dynamite, moved the ball beautifully and everything was done at pace; it was a pleasure to watch.
"It could have been 8-1.
"The manner in with they played was pleasing because everything they had worked on at training in the lead-up just clicked.
It's the first time they're tested in a tournament atmosphere so the seven member zones plus the Emerging Jets play for the state titles.Larry Budgen
"I said to the coaches we wish we could bottle that up, but you can't."
Budgen said the performance of Page was impressive although he was ably supported by Sam Blain and Danny Barratt.
"They (the Barratt's) have only moved over here from the UK; Danny is going to be some player."
Northern NSW Football technical advisor Leo Bertos stressed the importance of providing young, talented players with the opportunity to attend the tournament and similar events.
"I found it very interesting to see how players performed during the tournament while managing an added pressure that the usual SAP environment does not have", he said.
"I witnessed a lot of talented players struggle to perform at their expected level due to not being able to handle this pressure."
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