St Thomas More College, Sunnybank sisters, Samantha and Ashly Hughes proudly represented Australia at the International Costa Blanca Futsal Cup in Spain recently.
The Year 9 and Year 7 students competed in the six-day tournament alongside more than 100 teams from 10+ countries to play Futsal.
Playing nearly 20 games across four teams between them, the girls brought home a trio of trophies including the U14 Girls 2022 Costa Blanca Cup Runners Up captained by Samantha, the U16 Girls 2022 Costa Blanca Cup Runners Up and the Best Team Cup won by the Australian Girls Team.
Samantha's best memory from the trip was when her sister Ashly assisted in her first goal: “I felt so excited and happy because it was my first international goal and I got to share it with my sister."
Further, Samantha was named 2022 Players' Player of the competition and said it was an unexpected announcement: “I was so humbled and honoured to be chosen by my teammates."
Alongside the Opening Ceremony where Ashly carried the Australian flag up the beach to the arena, her best memory was the experience of playing in an international competition.
“The game was so different, the courts were bigger, there are different rules, the speed of the game was faster, and the competition was more intense."
“I felt so proud representing my country," Ashly said.
Coach Seth Telfer said of the girls' performance: “Both Samantha and Ashly played tremendous roles within our squad."
“Having the sister partnership on the team really helped our team chemistry and was a scaffold to our teams' success.
“Samantha showed great leadership qualities throughout the competition, organising the team on the field and making sure morale was high, while Ashly's fast feet was tough to handle for the international opposition.
“These girls were a pleasure to coach, and definitely have the world at their feet," Coach Telfer said.
Reflecting on what's next in their Futsal journeys, apart from being selected by the Qld Academy of Sports, more representative games and future international study, Samantha shared her boldest aspirations - to represent Australia in the World Cup and play in an Olympics. Ashly shared similar dreams to Samantha but added to her World Cup and Olympics ambitions 'with my sister'.
The girls said they would miss the culture and the food in Spain but left a little bit of St Thomas More College behind as they wrote STMC and a love heart on the Costa Blanca Cup wall.
St Thomas More College, Sunnybank Principal Mr Les Conroy said: “Supporting students to set high aspirations and then help realise them is our core business. We exist so all students can 'Do More and Be More'."
“As a college we applaud the tremendous success achieved by Samantha and Ashly. Congratulations, you are an inspiration to our community," said Mr Conroy.