Win of Tech players positive for Southern United

Dunedin Tech celebrate their semi-final win in Wellington. Photo via Facebook
Dunedin Tech celebrate their semi-final win in Wellington. Photo via Facebook
A short turnaround is in store for half the Southern United women - but that might not be a bad thing.

Last Sunday, 12 of its players were part of the Dunedin Technical side which claimed an emphatic victory in the Kate Sheppard Cup final.

On Saturday they will pull on blue and gold as they begin their national women's league campaign against Central at Tahuna Park.

It is not much of a break and the tight turnaround has presented some challenges.

Most notably it has been difficult juggling players between trainings.

However, new Southern coach Ignacio Sande said those were positive challenges.

Having had half the team win one of the biggest games in the country gave Southern a great boost heading into its season.

Alongside the Tech players, Sande said there was plenty of quality that had been drawn from the region's other clubs.

That quality will be needed if it is to follow on from last season's effort - making the playoffs for the first time.

It is without stars Elise Mamanu-Gray and Ellie Isaac this time around, both of whom are in Australia.

Goalkeeper Tessa Nicol is injured and is not 100% recovered.

The side has left a spot open in its squad though and Sande said that could potentially be filled by Nicol as the season progressed.

However, there is still plenty of talent on hand.

It retains the majority of its strong defensive unit, which includes Mikaela Hunt - who scored twice in Tech's final win on Sunday.

In the midfield, Shontelle Smith is a classy creator, while in Renee Bacon, Lara Wall and Emily Morison there is plenty of firepower up front.

There is little outside pressure on the squad, but Sande said the team was entering with high expectations of itself.

"I don't think it's pressure because no-one's saying the team has to achieve the same as what it did last year," he said.

"But internally I think what they achieved last year was great if you compare it with the previous years.

"We are looking forward to the same or even better. That's our goal as a team, we want to be in the top three or top two again."

He said the side would play with passion and go in with the intent of winning games.

A change from previous years is that sides will play all other teams home and away, before the top two teams play off in the final on the weekend of December 15.


 

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