Captain eager to resume after injury

New Southern United captain Rose Morton shows her enthusiasm at the opening weekend of the...
New Southern United captain Rose Morton shows her enthusiasm at the opening weekend of the national women’s premiership at Logan Park Turf earlier this week. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O’CONNOR
It was over a year ago that Rose Morton got a taste of Southern United football.

Tomorrow she will finally get to wear the club’s jersey for the second time.

A top-signing for the club last year, the New Zealand under-20 midfielder played just one game before an ankle injury left her to watch from the sidelines.

It was a game she had enjoyed.

Now the newly named captain cannot wait to face the defending champion Canterbury United side at Logan Park Turf this weekend.

"I’m super excited," Morton (20) said.

"One game last year, I loved it, it was so much fun.

"We played really well against Central, my old team. We had to win that one.

"Then with my ankle, I thought I might as well take the season off and get it right so I can get stuck into it.

"But it was hard. I’m so excited."

Morton joked she had done more than a million calf raises since then.

They must have made some difference, too.

Her ankle is feeling good and she is coming off a successful season with Dunedin Technical.

That injury had followed a broken wrist a year earlier, in which she missed the entire season with Central, while still living in central Hawke’s Bay.

Having the added role of captaining the side — part of a leadership group with Renee Bacon, Chelsea Whittaker and Hannah Mackay-Wright — was an added thrill to finally getting on the field.

"I’ve done a little bit when I was younger and throughout," she said of her captaincy experience.

It had been more like a leadership role "because I’m so verbal and so loud".

"It’s really cool, it’s a great opportunity."

Alongside Southern, Morton was still keeping involved with the national under-20 side, although missed a recent camp due to a clash with exams for her law degree.

She hoped a World Cup would go ahead next year, which would be her third age-grade World Cup.

There were a handful of others from that set-up in the Southern team, too.

Alongside Hannah Mackay-Wright, who moved south last year, Macey Fraser and Blair Currie have both moved to Dunedin for this season.

Morton said it was great to continue attracting young players at that level.

"It kind of just emphasises that Southern is a really good region.

"It has potential to be one of the top competitors and I think a lot of the girls are recognising that now — which is why players like Macey Fraser and Blair Currie are coming.

"It’s great, it lifts the intensity so much, they’re great players."

Both of those newcomers were from Canterbury, so would know today’s opposition well.

A handful of the Canterbury players will be familiar to the Southern line-up, too.

Mikaela Hunt, who captained Southern for the past two years, will wear red and black this season.

Lara Wall is another recognisable face, having moved to Christchurch from Dunedin for University.

Kick-off is at 11.30am.

A game between the teams’ development sides will follow at 1.45pm.

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