A brush with soccer royalty capped off a highly successful outing for East Coast's representative soccer teams earlier this month.
Competing in the Country Gold Carnival in Launceston, East Coast's boys and girls teams finished champions and runners up respectively before rubbing shoulders with former Australian goalkeeper Jack Reilly.
Boys coach Robert Evans said the two teams, consisting of grade 4 to 6 students from Bicheno, St Helens and St Marys, had been thrilled to make acquaintances with an Australian international.
“He just turned up and saw the kids playing, he's very interested in the junior development of soccer in Tasmania,” Mr Evans said.
“Once he told us he was the Australian goalkeeper from the 1974 World Cup all the kids were getting his autograph and having photos with him.”
Mr Evans said the two East Coast teams represented the region admirably over the two-day competition, which also featured teams from Northern Midlands East and West, Tamar and North East.
“I think for the small pool that we are, to go down and play against some pretty big catchment areas they did very well for themselves.
“Some of the boys and girls there play the regular soccer on a Saturday at St Helens, that was quite evident the fact that some of the kids had been playing there.
“Their skill levels and their ability to play in team situations was quite good so that was good.”