Southern United excited, prepared for opener

Southern United will want to hit the ground running when the national women's league gets under way at Logan Park tomorrow.

It is a big match for the side - not only does it want to make a statement against Central but it is also the opening game in the league.

Then throw into the mix it will be the first game at a national level to be played at the turf at Logan Park which has been in use since May.

Returning Southern United head coach Ignacio Sande is very excited about his team's opening game and is also feeling reasonably comfortable.

"We are definitely excited and prepared.

"We have been training for around 10 weeks and we feel ready for the game," he said.

"To play at home and win the first game is something that we all dream of. We have more pressure on us as the first Southern United home game on the turf.

"Last season we played on three different pitches but having a home now makes us very excited to play."

Despite having had two impressive results against Central last season, Sande does feel Central has more to offer this season.

"We would like to perform and score, but we are expecting a much stronger team in Central.

"They were very young last year and have around 10 new players in the squad so this year they are coming with more experience and a new coach so we are expecting a completely different game to last season."

Although Southern United beat Central 6-1 at home in last season's opening game and then had an 8-2 victory on Central's turf, Sande believes Central has some good qualities he is concerned about.

"They were a young team, they always tried and one of the most important things we learned playing against them was that they managed to create some strong attacking combinations that we need to be wary of."

Alhough the season is long and goes through until December, Sande hopes to have an impressive start.

"We always try to win so we will go from the kick-off, trying to be aggressive and score so we can try and create a good match for the spectators."

The side has plenty of players returning from last year and combinations are always important at this level.

Southern finished fifth in the seven-team league last year and will look to significantly improve this season. Canterbury United and the Auckland side look the teams to beat.

Auckland takes on WaiBop while Canterbury United plays Capital later tomorrow.

Southern's match kicks off at Logan Park at 11.30am tomorrow.

- By Holly Percival

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