Familiar start for Southern women

There is some welcome familiarity to the draw - now the Southern United women will just hope the results follow the same.

The side is set to open its National Women's League season at home against Central on September 15.

That mirrors last year's opening, when Southern put on a classy display at Forrester Park to notch a 6-1 win - the biggest in its history.

The only difference is this year's game will be held at the new Logan Park Turf, the venue for four of six home games.

Of the other two, one will at Forsyth Barr Stadium and the other will be in Invercargill.

The Forsyth Barr Stadium game will be against Auckland on November 23, also a memorable combination.

Last time Southern played under the roof was also against Auckland in 2017.

On that occasion it won 3-2 to notch just its second win in a decade and spark a run that led it to the playoffs.

Since then it has developed into a competitive team that has won eight of its past 19 matches.

On September 29, the side will travel to Invercargill to host the Northern Lights.

The draw once again includes a double-header over Labour Weekend.

Southern will host Canterbury United on October 26 before playing the return fixture just two days later in Christchurch.

This season will be the second under the new format, in which all teams play each other twice.

From there, the top two teams play off in the grand final - unlike the previous format, in which the second and third teams played an elimination final.

This year's grand final will be on December 15.

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