Paul Weaver and the Iona Stingers will make their first ever appearance at the 2019 McDonald’s Kanga Cup, and the team from a small school on the North Island of New Zealand will do so as the first international team to have registered for this year.
The team attending this year’s tournament is the 1st XI for the Iona College girls’ school, a school consisting of around 350 students located in Havelock North near Hawke’s Bay, who routinely punch above their weight in tournaments both within New Zealand and abroad.
Paul has coached the team for seven seasons and has helped the team to five runner-up finishes and one overall win in the local Girls Division One competition, where the squad usually battle it out with Napier Girls for top spot in the eight-team competition.
The team has previous experience overseas, competing in The Great Wall Youth Football tournament in Beijing in 2013 where they finished as runners-up, and Weaver found the McDonald’s Kanga Cup while having a look for other tournaments to pursue.
Originally coaching the team as a parent, Paul left the program when his daughter did but missed it so much in his two years away that he rejoined three years ago and is now into his seventh season with the team.
The Stingers are a development squad with talented players from the school, featuring a mix of 1st & 2nd XI players, and Paul is hoping they can make the most of their trip with visits to some Australian landmarks in Canberra.
If you are an international team considering attending the 2019 McDonald’s Kanga Cup, please contact our travel partners JT Sports Tours for an excellent deal.
To register your team for the tournament and try your hand against the Stingers, click here.