Though the return of the Premier League season in England and its coterie of overpaid stars and overinflated egos captured most of the attention of football fans last weekend, another football competition much closer to home saw Sydney’s leading lesbian football club, the Flying Bats, end their season with championships for two of its teams after wins in their respective grand finals.
With the club taking out the grand finals on Sunday in Division 5 and in the Over 35s Division 1 competition, Flying Bats president Alicia Rich said the triumphs in those competitions as well as their Division 4 side lifting the Premier’s Trophy made this season the most successful ever for the club.
In a record that matches the legendary Arsenal ‘Invincibles’ team of 2003-04, the Flying Bats Over 35s side went through the entire season undefeated while earlier in the year, the Bats also took the silver medal for the Division 2 competition at the World Outgames in Belgium. The team ended up giving their medals won at the Outgames to a Russian team that was also competing as a symbol of solidarity against recently enacted anti-gay laws across Russia.
“It’s been an immense season for the Bats, fielding seven teams for the first time and having such success across the board,” Rich said. “We had a solid first season in Division 1, two teams emerge as Premiers and three make the Grand Finals, as well as winning the Pennant in Div 8. I couldn’t be prouder.”
The Bats will now begin preparations for the second annual Pride Football Australia tournament, which kicks off in Melbourne on October 4. The tournament will once again pit the Bats and Sydney Rangers FC agains the men’s and women’s teams of the Melbourne Rovers, with the Bats to compete for the Julie Murray Cup.
“We’d love to bring the trophy back to Sydney to make it a Premiers-Champions-Pride trifecta,” Rich says.
Photo: Kerry Fluhr