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With teams finally being able to get back on the field in the weekend, points are on the board. Reports from the weekend sum up the fact there is a huge amount of depth in both the Woman’s Premier League and the Southern Premier League this season, with a lot of younger players moving up in their clubs from Youth to Prems, mixing a lot of new talent with the skills of those following through from last season.
Due to the alteration of the competition formats due to Covid-19 delays, these early season points are vital to ensure clubs table placement starts off strong. The competitive play was evident among all teams, with player’s giving it their all, despite the pre season interruptions.
In the WPL this week we have Green Island AFC Premier Women’s hosting their first home game at Sunnyvale against last season winners Dunedin Technical AFC. Head Coach of GI Richard Kerr-Bell is looking forward to the first game of the season after their bye last weekend. Kerr-Bell is excited to see the progress and development of the team with some new players now playing at a higher level.
Kerr-Bell shares: “I am keen to get going, and see where we are at. After the first game we will be able to learn what needs work on going forward.” He is hoping that the shorter lead up to the season kick-off doesn’t stack up with any injuries.
Otago University Women’s Premier coach Stuart Moffatt is looking forward to kicking off the season against Roslyn Wakari AFC, with some delayed players returning home in time for Round 2 post last weeks deferral. Moffatt is pleased to start off with a home game and is excited to see key players including Nadege Salvador in action. With the support of having their SPL players cheering on from the side-line, it will be inviting the support of community sport post Covid-19.
“We are excited to play on the turf this weekend and show up to play some expansive, possessive football.” Says Moffatt.
A bye for Queenstown AFC this round, after their 4-1 win against Roslyn Wakari during the weekend. Queenstown will be back next weekend on home soil playing against the Otago University Women’s Prems.
Mosgiel AFC assistant coach Jordan Pike is looking forward to the teams home game this weekend against Otago University AFC Women’s Premier Seconds. With both University teams deferring last weekend, Pike is confident this will be a: “really good opportunity to put points on the board.”
“We are looking forward to playing at Memorial, with the local home game support!”
In the SPL Caversham AFC are keen to get the game rolling with a home game against Dunedin Technical AFC. With a bye last week, the team is “itching to get back into football.” Says Cavy striker Ben Wade.
Cavy head coach Richard Murray is open minded heading in to the game, saying “its hard to know where the team is at until we’re back on the pitch”. With the loss of Andrew Ridden and Michael Hogan, Murray said he has a couple of new players who are looking forward to stepping it up this season in the SPL.
Queenstown AFC coach Jamie Whitmarsh is happy with a home game, and is hopeful for a positive result against Northern AFC for round two. Whitmarsh, along with most coaches acknowledges how the shorter pre season lead up, makes it harder to be fully prepared.
“We will carry on working hard throughout the season, and prepare ourselves the best we can.” Says Whitmarsh.
Being Northern’s first game of the season due to last weeks deferral, Queenstown are looking to be sharp on the ball and perform well, using last weeks game against Wanaka AFC to work on things needing improvement.
Mosgiel AFC is up against Wanaka AFC this weekend, playing their first home game of the season at Memorial park. After both teams came away with a loss in round one, Mosgiel head coach Cam McPhail will be starting his best 11 to kick off the game, including welcoming back key midfielder Alex Cox after sitting out due to last seasons suspension in round 1.
“It will be a big game for both teams, I expect it to be a competitive game as both teams have a number of quality players” says McPhail.
Roslyn Wakari AFC will be giving it their all against Green Island AFC at Ellis Park. After their 2-0 loss to Dunedin Tech last weekend, Roslyn are looking to get their three points to lock in a top table placement early on.
Otago University AFC has the bye, and will be up against Queenstown AFC at the home turf for round three.
Updated scores, tables and match results will be made live over the weekend. Best of luck to all teams!
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