THE Under 14 Orange District Representative Football team, the Orange Monkeys, competed in and were amply rewarded for their efforts at International Kanga Cup event held in Canberra from July 5-10.
The Kanga Cup, which celebrated its 25th year of competition, attracted 338 competing teams from across Australia this year.
There were also some international teams competing, from New Zealand and Korea.
An opening ceremony for the event was held at GIO Stadium where all teams paraded around the arena in front of parents and supporters before being entertained by various performances.
Following on from their District, NSW Country Cup and ACT Lightning Cup achievements during April and May, the Orange Monkeys nominated in the Under 14 Male Plate division of the Kanga Cup, pitting themselves against sides from Sydney Metro, the ACT and Tasmania.
Hard-fought games were expected, but the Monkeys held their own with three wins, two losses and one draw to be placed third overall in their pool: a huge achievement in their first year at the tournament and at this level of competition.
In their last pool game the Monkeys managed to beat the top-of-the-table team, Harrington Grove, 1-nil.
the side's goalkeeper Zac Pavy was voted as the most valuable player of the tournament by his peers, while Kynan Lane of the Monkeys was ranked the second highest goal scorer in the team's pool.
The Orange Monkeys were also awarded the Kanga Cup 2015 Under 14 Fair Play Award due to the tremendous sportsmanship they displayed throughout the event.
This popular team of boys from Orange, Molong, Mullion Creek and Millthorpe were formally presented with their trophy at the Kanga Cup Awards Ceremony held at the Australian Institute of Sport on the last evening of the tournament.
"Both Chris (team manager) and I are just so very proud of the Monkeys in their approach to the sport, their sportsmanship, and their commitment to their training, the game and to each other," coach Rob Dawson said.
"The boys really rose to the occasion and did themselves proud. The support of the parents throughout everything, including the distances travelled for the boys to get some quality game time and competition, has been marvelous."
The Monkeys would like to thank the Orange District Football Association and Charles Sturt University - Community University Partnerships for their drive, belief, commitment and funding support of them throughout 2015.