Aaaah bugger. The dream is over.

The NZ U-17 Women's team has lost 2-0 to Spain in the semifinals of their world championships in Uruguay.

This is the furthest any of our teams have ever reached at a FIFA event, something to be enormously proud of, and a real fillip for the sport here - especially given the recent palava surrounding the departure of one-time national women's team coach and director of football Andreas Heraf.

Of course, the current administration can't take any credit for this success whatsoever, but they will.


Because that's what sports administration in this country is largely about.

Swarm all over anything positive and good that happens, duck and dive for cover when it comes to admitting the idiocy and incompetence as often involved.

Heraf, appointed and anointed by a Board that remains largely in place, was a complete disaster. One of his more infamous utterances being that we (the Football Ferns) had no hope of ever competing against a country like Japan, hence the negative and destructive way he insisted the team played them in Wellington.

That loss the catalyst for the player rebellion that followed, an action eventually leading to his exit from both job and country.

How ironic then that the U-17s beat Japan to make this morning's semifinal.

Whether they now go on to finish 3rd or 4th, this tournament has been a triumph for our young women setting a benchmark for all other age-groups sides to emulate.

And let's remember that's what this is, not senior sport, but age restricted and as such needs to be kept within that perspective before any unrealistic clamour for Halberg recognition inevitably begins.

And if nothing else it also gives us sports fans a temporary respite from the Shaun Johnson saturation coverage currently bombarding every news outlet.


Including the most pathetic display of faux fan outrage yet, some bloke supposedly so overcome with anger he burned his Warriors Johnson jersey.


Was the man truly that upset or in fact that desperate for social media recognition he pulled his copycat act knowing the pictures would make for instant click-bait?

I don't know what's more pathetic.

What he did, the fact that those who decide these things pretend it's news, or that people like me give it credence by even acknowledging it at all.

So thank you to the U-17s.

Thank you for giving us a legitimate and genuine sports story, congratulations, you all deserve every shred of reflected glory.