Wests women up for chal­lenge

Premier grade beck­ons

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Western Sub­urbs Soc­cer Club’s women’s team have reached the peak and now it’s all about stay­ing there.

The cur­rent ver­sion of the team be­gan in 2010 and, since start­ing in the bot­tom di­vi­sion, have been pro­moted each year.

This sea­son they will kick off in the Cap­i­tal premier grade and had be­gun their pre-sea­son train­ing with con­fi­dence, cap­tain Liz Oliver said.

‘‘We’ve had our first train­ing ses­sion and it was tough,’’ she said.

‘‘But we know what has to be done this year, so we’re putting in the work. It’s a new di­vi­sion and we don’t know what to ex­pect, but we know it will be fast and there will be more strat­egy needed.’’

In Kirk McPher­son, Oliver said they had a coach who un­der­stood women’s foot­ball and had a vi­sion for the way they should play.

Oliver said the nu­cleus of the team were friends who played to­gether at Aotea Col­lege. But or­gan­is­ing their own train­ing and tac­tics could get them only so far.

‘‘We were do­ing our best and do­ing it well, get­ting re­sults,’’ she said.

‘‘But now we’re go­ing up a level and Kirk has a lot to do with that.’’

Oliver said the ties with the Wests club and Ole Foot­ball Academy were get­ting stronger.

Skill, the right at­ti­tude and team at­mos­phere were the keys to their suc­cess, she said.

‘‘We’re more than a team of foot­ballers – we’re friends, and that comes through. The mid­field is strong and cre­ative, the back­line works well, and we score some great goals.’’

Oliver said Michelle Rus­sell would be called upon again to score hat­fuls of goals and cen­tre half Gaby Peach, last sea­son’s play­ers’ player award-win­ner and MVP, was an amaz­ing as­set for Wests.

Brook­lyn North­ern, Stop Out and Vic­to­ria Univer­sity would prob­a­bly be the teams to beat, Oliver said.

Support on the side­lines for their Sun­day af­ter­noon matches was at least on a par with their male coun­ter­parts, she said.

‘‘You look at the likes of North Wellington, Pe­tone or Tawa – the support is amaz­ing and they bend over back­wards to wel­come you into the clu­b­rooms. It’s great.’’

One or two ad­di­tions will be re­quired be­fore the start of the cam­paign and a shirt spon­sor, too.

Fees aren’t cheap and with track­suits and gear, fundrais­ing was nec­es­sary, Oliver said.

The Wests women train Tues­day and Thurs­day nights from 7pm till 9pm, on the foot­ball field be­low Kenepuru Dr.

Photo: RUS­SELL POTTS/CHAINSAWPHOTOS

Golden boot:

Pro­lific Wests goal-scorer Michelle Rus­sell, in red, in ac­tion against Up­per Hutt.

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